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Continuous Level Measurement of Extremely Lightweight Specialty Materials

SITUATION:
“I can’t find a technology to measure the level of my finished product. It is extremely lightweight, less than 5lbs/ft³, and nothing seems to work”.

EXPLANATION:
Very lightweight materials are definite challenges for continuous level measurement technology. There is so much air that the dielectric is very low and sound absorption is high. This means that guided wave radar, through-air radar, ultrasonic and RF capacitance technologies are all out of the question. 3M in Cottage Grove, MN had this exact problem. They manufacture a highly proprietary and specialized packaging material. They needed continuous level monitoring of their raw material and finished goods bins. The raw materials were not challenging per se, but the finished product was extremely lightweight, less than 5lbs/ft³! 3M needed a solution.

SOLUTION:
The Monitor Technologies SiloPatrol® Inventory Monitoring System is a smart weight & cable based sensor system. This state-of-the-art weight & cable system is a proven problem solver, but will it work effectively on material less than 5lbs/ft³? Yes! The local Monitor representative arranged a demonstration and a unit was temporarily mounted on a skid and then placed on top of a large box of the material. It worked perfectly. The design of the sensor weight (an inverted cone design) and the electronics/mechanical design of the sensor allowed the unit to detect the surface of this lightweight material without sinking into the material.

The SiloPatrol system is now used on the raw and finished goods silos. According to the customer, “the SiloPatrol system is one of the few devices we have that operates flawlessly”. The sensors have been installed since the late 1990’s and the customer still has their initial purchase of spare replacement parts.

Give Monitor Technologies a call and let us put our creative solutions to work for you!

 

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