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Cement Real-Time Level Measurement Solution:

Flexar® Continuous Level Systems Successful on Cement Powder and Flyash at Batavia Concrete

“I have no idea how much material we have left in our cement and flyash bins.  We need a reliable solution to make us more efficient.”

Batavia Concrete is located in Montgomery, IL and is one of many concrete batch plants operated by Prairie Materials in northern Illinois.  Like most concrete plants, Batavia uses cement and flyash as ingredients.  Ready mixed concrete batch plants take the basic components needed to form concrete, i.e. sand, rock, cement powder and flyash and batch them together for loadout into concrete trucks.  Concrete is used as a versatile construction material and there are literally tens of thousands of batch plants around North America.

Flexar ApplicationUnfortunately, Batavia’s facility only used high and low level indicators.  Their operations manager, Fred Thompson, had no idea how much material was remaining at any given time.  This delayed replenishment and sometimes they couldn’t fit a truckload of cement or flyash into the bin.  They needed to know the level of the material at any given time in order to become more efficient.

Chief application engineer for Monitor Technologies, Andy Bowman, decided to employ the Flexar technology and product to help Batavia Concrete.  Monitor Technologies introduced the Flexar® guided wave radar continuous level measurement system to Batavia Concrete in December 2005.  Monitor strategically acquired this level sensing system during 2005 to add to its significant solution capability for powder and bulk solids applications.  Flexar is proven technology combined with five decades of bulk solids experience and unique inventory management software solutions.  Monitor knew it had the right solution for Batavia Concrete.
Flexar is a guided wave radar continuous level sensor.  Distance/level is measured by the time-of-flight of the reflection of a microwave signal (transmitted down the wave-guide, which is a heavy-duty 0.3” SS cable with 3.9 ton tensile strength) off the material surface.  Cement and flyash both have relatively low dielectric constants and Flexar’s direct measuring mode was successful in providing real-time continuous updates of the material level during filling and draw-down.

Both Flexar units are installed with 34’ cable length.  The 4-20mA signal from each Flexar unit is connected to a panel meter in the control room.  Fred Thompson, Regional Operations Manager of Batavia Concrete, has been satisfied with this solution ever since it was installed.  Observations during filling cycles were very good right off.  Flexar didn’t skip a beat, even with the heavy dust kicked up during pneumatic filling. 

Fred Thompson reports that he desires to install Flexar units at other plants within his regional area of responsibility.  He prefers the true continuous nature of Flexar guided wave radar units.

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


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Flexar® Continuous Level Systems Successful Whey Permeate . . .



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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