Measuring filling levels in automated Industry 4.0
An automated measurement of substance filling levels in storage containers is essential in Industry 4.0. For a secure and stable production process, continuous monitoring of filling levels is an absolute prerequisite.
These can be split into two main types:
Monitoring the filling level for the feeding and timing of the filling process as well as the retrieval of stock status.
Initiating safety measures (e.g. shutting down) when a maximum or minimum filling level is reached
In the first case, we are talking about continuous filling level control. The filling level of the monitored substance can be registered at any time at any position in the container and ensures a continuous reading. The advantage of this is that capacity planning can be adapted for irregular use at any time in the production process.
In the second case, we are dealing with a "level detection". Predefined maximum and/or minimum filling levels are defined and monitored throughout the production process. If the relevant level limit is exceeded or too low, an action is initiated. This monitoring method is best suited to continuous processes for the timely supply or removal of necessary substances. The level detection also serves as a safety measure, for example to avoid overfilling due to system shut down.
The different methods of filling level measuring
Filling level measuring works via contact or non-contact sensors which determine the distance between the sensor and the object being measured.
Ultrasound filling level measuring
Classic filling level measuring works with the help of ultrasound sensors. Measurement with ultrasound sensors is a non-contact method and is suitable for both continuous filling level control and level detection. Ultrasound sensors release high frequency oscillations, which are reflected through the object being measured. The time difference between the moments of "sending and receiving" is calculated. The advantage of this method is that it is not dependent on the substance used, e.g. oil or water.
Measuring filling level with the magnetostrictive principle
Magnetostrictive sensors are non-contact and free from wear.
A short, constant electrical pulse is sent via a waveguide. A freely moving position magnet reacts to the electrical pulse with a reversed torsion wave. Moving the position magnet produces a different run time for the response pulse. With the help of a pulse converter, this is finally converted into an electronic measurement signal. The magnet is embedded in a float and guarantees permanent registration of the filling level. Magnetostriction is non-contact but the float must make contact with the substance being measured.
Filling level measuring using draw wire sensors
Draw wire sensors are a contact measurement method. A stainless steel wire is coiled in a single layer around a drum with a pre-stressed mainspring. The measurement wire is attached to the object being measured and the is drawn from the drum if the position is changed. The drum's axis is firmly attached to an electronic element, which converts the mechanical turning movement into a proportional electronic signal. For the filling level measuring, the measurement wire is connected to a float which is in contact with the measuring material.
Filling level measuring with the capacity principle
Capacity sensors measure changes in capacity. Thus the sensor and the object being measured always create a plate, as you find with a plate capacitor. The electronic field in between them is recorded and changes according to the distance. This measurement method is non-contact and is suitable for continuous monitoring and level detection.
WayCon offers suitable measurement engineering for all uses
With WayCon's intelligent sensor solutions, measuring filling levels is easy and efficient. The Taufkirchen company's broad production spectrum can be used in practically any industry and for any use. Companies are already equipped for Industry 4.0 with WayCon sensors for their filling level measuring.
For more information, please contact :-
Waycon Positionsmesstechnik GmbH
Mehlbeerenstr. 4, 82024 Taufkirchen , Germany
Fon: +49 (0) 89 - 6797130
Fax: +49 (0) 89 - 679713250
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