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Measuring Material Level in Dusty Talc Applications for Luzenac America

“Ultrasonic systems from two leading manufacturers don’t work because of the heavy dust. The older weight and cable style doesn’t work well because of high maintenance. I need a reliable solution.”

Luzenac supplies the pulp, paper and board industry with talc for use as a pitch control agent and a runnability aid, a coating pigment in both rotogravure and offset, and a functional filler. In certain specialty papers, e.g. colored papers, labels, Luzenac talc’s special properties help to improve quality and productivity. Talc also has application as an additive to ceramic, rubber, plastics and even roofing materials. Talc is about 50lbs/ft³ and very dusty. Older electromechanical weight & cable devices couldn’t live up to the rigors of the application, neither could ultrasonic systems that were blinded by the heavy dust.

The Monitor Technologies SiloPatrol® smart cable-based sensor system with 4-20mA output was being used successfully on this difficult application at the Luzenac plant in Sappington, Montana. The Three Forks plant needed a solution and decided to try the SiloPatrol inventory monitoring system to reliably keep track of their finished goods inventory. In this tough application the SiloPatrol proved to be the best solution. The sensor is unaffected by the dust and internal bin structures. The SiloPatrol sensor uses a powerful direct drive motor and 270lb. tensile strength cable along with state-of-the-art microcontroller based electronics.

Luzenac prefers the SiloPatrol system to other equipment they have tried. This is evidenced by their usage at the two plants in Montana and one plant in Houston, TX. They have dozens of units in place that continue to work reliably for them.

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


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Spotlight: RF Capacitance Level Sensor
TrueCap Level SensorsTrueCap Light  
TrueCap® MK-2
Advanced RF Capacitance Level Probe

The TrueCap® Model MK-2 RF Capacitance point level probe is designed to provide a superior and stable sensitivity threshold making it suitable for a variety of powder / bulk solids and some liquid or slurry applications.

Advanced features of the Model MK-2 include:
> Automatic immunity to material build-up on the probe by its driven shield design
> Push-button calibration
> Enhanced temperature compensation
> Maximized reliability via smart sensing algorithms like “self-validating” fail-safe protection
> Visible status LED on ordinary location units
> Versatility through a variety of configuration options including: hazardous location version, split architecture design, quick-connect process connection, stub probe, cable extensions, solid extensions, Nylon® probes, Ryton® - equiv. probes, etc.

A practical application for the TrueCap would be to use this level sensor where a residual material build-up on a different sensor would cause a false material level indication.

Principle of Operation for the TrueCap RF Capacitance Level Probe:
The vessel wall and the active probe element establish an impedance reference between each other when exposed to air which has a dielectric constant of 1. When materials with a dielectric constant greater than 1 are in close proximity to the probe, the impedance of the sensing field between the sensor and the vessel wall will change. Once the amount of change exceeds a threshold that was electronically determined during the calibration process, an output relay will either be energized or de-energized depending upon the position of the fail-safe selector on the probe’s electronic circuit board. A change of as little as .5 pico-farad is all that is necessary for the probe to sense the presence of material.

Click here for more information on the TrueCap MK-2 Level Sensor or contact Monitor Technologies LLC at
Tel.: 800-766-6486 in the USA and
Tel.: 630-365-9403 worldwide.


>>Download TrueCap Product Bulletin #413

>>Click here to learn more about other Point Level Switches from Monitor Technologies


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