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Charcoal Manufacturer Improves Inventory Accuracy & Reliability

SITUATION:
“We used a cable running up the side of the silo through the top and down inside with a weight attached to the end inside the silo. The end on the outside was attached to a hand winch.  We would release the winch, lower the cable until it appeared it had hit the material surface.  Then we would take a reading from a marker on the cable on the outside.” There were a total of eight silos of various heights.

This type of measurement was made on silos containing wood chip and wood flour.  These are ingredients in the charcoal manufacturing process. There were a total of eight silos of various heights.  Wood chip and wood flour are processed into briquettes and fired.  This is a simplification of the process and may not be a completely accurate description, but the actual process is proprietary to each manufacturer.

EXPLANATION:
The problem that was created was measurement error and inconsistency due to the manual method employed and human error in making this manual measurement.  It was very frequent that they were way off in readings and the measurement of the cable outside the silo was always an “eyeball guess”.

SOLUTION:SiloPatrol SE
The charcoal manufacturer wanted to eliminate the human element in making these measurements and improve accuracy of measurement and reliability of data.  The solution was the SiloPatrol® inventory monitoring system from Monitor Technologies.  The 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.  Wood chips have a bulk density of about 20-30 lbs/ft3 and wood flour is even lighter at about 15-20 lbs/ft3.  In addition, the dielectric constant was very low, running around 1.7 or lower.  The local Monitor representative arranged a demonstration and to date eight silos have been equipped with the system, including an HMIHMI that operators and users read data from.  The lightweight nature of the material was no problem and the low dielectric constant has no effect on the performance of this smart cable-based sensor system.  The SiloPatrol system eliminated the manual measurement process, the time taken to make the manual measurements, improved accuracy of measurement and overall reliability.  The charcoal manufacturer realized savings in time and material.  The system has been in use successfully for the past four years.

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

 

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