Silo Level Measurement Technologies

Application Brief: Silo Level Measurement Technologies

Industry: Plastic molding, food processing, and construction materials

Application: Silo Level Measurement

Summary: Industries such as plastic molding, food processing, and construction materials all rely on bulk materials. As these industries move ever closer to just in time (JIT) manufacturing, the ability to produce accurate, reliable, and repeatable level measurements is becoming increasingly important. Enter Dimetix laser distance sensors, which measure accurately at longer distances (≥30 meters) on a wide variety of materials, including gravel, dirt, food materials, foam—virtually any opaque target material. Even in the case of semitransparent plastic resin pellets, enough light is reflected back to the sensor to obtain accurate, reliable measurements.

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Grain Silos, Spain

Overview

Challenge

Manufacturers utilizing bulk materials in bins, hoppers, or silos require accurate and reliable level detection to manage and process inventory and to minimize production delays. Industries such as plastic molding, food processing, and construction materials all rely on bulk materials. As these industries move ever closer to just in time (JIT) manufacturing, the ability to produce accurate, reliable, and repeatable level measurements is becoming increasingly important. Enter laser distance sensors, which measure accurately at longer distances (≥30 meters) on a wide variety of materials, including gravel, dirt, food materials, foam—virtually any opaque target material.

Solution

Dimetix laser distance sensors measure accurately at longer distances (≥30 meters) on a wide variety of targets, without making contact with the materials being measured. Reliability and repeatability of laser measurements are also independent of color and material—surfaces consisting of white plastic pellets are measured as accurately as those composed of dry or wet gravel. Even in the case of semitransparent plastic resin pellets, enough light is reflected back to the sensor to obtain accurate, reliable measurement data.

Key Application Notes

  • Noncontact measurement, which is beneficial in any number of industries, but especially with sterile materials.
  • Can be fixed with an air purge and a protective enclosure to help address maintenance issues and account for dust, airborne particles and other environmental factors.
  • Point focused so diverse materials can all be measured in the same manner.
  • Averaging and filtering functions help provide the ability to account for conformations and deformations in the bulk material surface.
  • Networkable — possible to monitor all the structures in any given cluster and create a common, centralized system for monitoring an entire network of silos and silo clusters.
Pellets

Technology
Dimetix laser distance sensors operate on a principle called phase shift. The laser signal is reflected directly back to the device. This technique provides high accuracy at a significantly lower cost than traditional laser triangulation, and is generally more accurate than simple time of flight methods. Since the transmit and receive signals come back straight to the device, the laser can be mounted in tight spaces, making retrofits simpler. The device is also capable of measuring with 1.5 mm accuracy, even up to 500 m. Distances over 65 m usually require a special reflective plate affixed to the target.

For more information on Dimetix laser distance sensors, please visit email us at info@laser‐view.com or contact us here.