Traditionally, producers felt that the only good silo was a full silo. Now, just-in-time inventory management plays an important role in controlling operating costs. With new developments in bin measurement equipment, concrete producers can maintain required inventory levels more accurately and without risking injury to employees.

Following are examples of measurement tools and systems that are helping producers plan with confidence. World of Concrete booth numbers were correct at time of publication.

Determine levels, inside and out

The AccuTrak magnetostrictive transmitters measure liquid levels. Insert the AT100 directly into a medium; the AT200 is an externally mounted, non-contact transmitter that can be attached to a magnetic level gauge to form a complete level measuring system. Both have a modular, duel compartment design that houses wiring and electronics separately. They measure the total level, interface level, and temperature from the same sensor in clean or dirty fluids. K-TEK Corp. 800-735-5835.

Bolt-on sensors

Silex sensors bolt onto the legs of a silo to measure the content's weight. When installed on all four legs of a standard silo, the sensors measure within a 2% accuracy of its full weight. SiloWeigh software displays the silo's content level as a graph and its weight in tons. Data can be transmitted from the Silex sensors via Ethernet transmitter, modem, or cellular radio network. Scale-Tron Inc. 800-632-7083.

Measure lump material

A flexible, extendable cable allows the PROCAP capacitance probe to detect material levels. It is designed for high-, mid-, or low-level detection when mounted on top of a bin. It is ideal for applications where a probe is used as a high-level alarm or where lump material might damage a rigid probe. The probe's flexible ¼-in. diameter cable can extend up to 35 ft. BinMaster. 800-278-4241.

Monitor levels and weights together

The ORB 2.2 Inventory Management System integrates both level and weight data. The system digitally links with Bindicator level instruments and Kistler-Morse weighing systems and can accept additional process data from other devices. View or download real-time and historical inventory data remotely through a Web connection. It also transmits data to remote client databases and sends inventory updates and alerts by e-mail. Venture Measurement Co. 864-574-8960.

Avoid incomplete batches

Automatic bin measurement systems for dry materials are easy to install and calibrate. A waterproof enclosure with electronic module attaches on top of the silo, and a probe cable drops down into the tank. The cable can be trimmed for use with a wide variety of bin sizes. The system includes a bright LED display panel to indicate high- and low-level alarms. Unisource Assembly Corp. 715-268-9769.

Easy-mount sensors

CycloLevel compact level sensors offer many mounting and probe options for new and retrofit applications. The sensors' low current and frequency will not interfere with nearby electronic plant equipment. Their modular design is ideal for high- and low-level detection in powders and bulk solids. CycloLevel sensors monitor a large area and feature time-delayed readings to avoid false readings. A high/low fail-safe switch eliminates process accidents due to power failures. Cyclonaire Corp. 800-445-0730.
WOC booth #N1645

Radar waves sense bin levels

The Flexar sensor uses guided wave radar technology for continuous bin level measurement. Without moving parts, the sensor experiences less wear and tear and is virtually unaffected by dust. It is easy to install; no field calibration is required. The sensor's “smart” output option works with PC-based SiloTrack inventory management software to generate reports, send e-mail notifications, and remotely view inventory levels. Monitor Technologies LLC. 800-766-6486.
WOC booth #N1117

Anti-overfill control

The SiloMax PLC-based system eliminates costly damage caused by overfilling a silo. The multi-silo system monitors three level sensors (high, low, and overfill) and controls a WAM pinch valve for each silo. The high and low sensors allow visual feedback of inventory levels. The overfill sensor signals audio/visual alarms, and then activates a pinch valve after a preset time period to restrict further filling. J. McCoy Equipment Ltd. 905-985-0989.

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