Level Measurement Level Measurement the Easy Way – How Radar Measures Plastic, Concrete and Other Bulks

Editor: Dominik Stephan

‘Just give me the level!’ Even the simplest user requests cannot always be easily fulfilled. However, a new level gauge based on the guided radar principle meets exactly this requirement with its self-learning signal processing and innovative algorithms.

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The interest in the new TDR sensors is high, especially for users who have to do with plastic powders
The interest in the new TDR sensors is high, especially for users who have to do with plastic powders
(Picture: Vega Grieshaber)

Easier still! This basic requirement was a driving force behind the development of the new sensors, the Vegaflex 80 series. Besides the simple instrument selection and menu-guided setup, reliability and measurement certainty were the focus. The series consists of four different instrument types, each of which is tailored to a particular application. Vegaflex 81 is optimized for use in liquid, while the robust Vegaflex 82 is an ideal choice for bulk solids.

When it comes to measurement of food or corrosive products, Vegaflex 83 meets the special requirements for hygiene and durability, with its resistant materials and high-quality surface finish. For extreme temperatures as well as high pressure applications, such as distillation columns, Vegaflex 86 is the optimal solution.

Instrument Setup Among the Most Common Error causes

An example of this new development focus is the Vegaflex 82. The instrument can measure solids with a small dielectric constant, in measuring ranges up to 70 mt in metal or concrete silos, even during pneumatic filling. It comes in two versions. One with a 4 mm cable (tensile loads up to 500 kg) for free-flowing granules and heights of about 8 to 10 mt and one with a 6 mm cable (tensile loads up to 3 tonnes) for heavy powders and longer ranges.

Studies have shown that more than 20 per cent of all production disturbances or stoppages result from incorrect instrument setup and commissioning. Hence, the top priority for Vega was to make setup and commissioning as simple as possible. Users are guided through the set up, so that after only six steps, measurement with the instrument can begin. They only need to specify whether the application is in a metal or concrete container. The instrument itself takes care of the rest, setting all operating parameters.

Once Vegaflex 82 is electrically connected, it measures the level immediately. Thanks to the large number of processes integrated in the sensor software, potential entry errors are completely avoided. These not only facilitate setup and commissioning but also ensure reliable measurement data and allow for a wider range of applications.

Level Sensor with Automatic Probe End Tracking

The most important innovation for Vegaflex 82 is its automatic probe end tracking function. This allows reliable measurement of nearly all bulk solids. But how does one track something that does not move? After all, the probe in the silo does not get longer or shorter. In non-conductive media, part of the microwave pulse penetrates the medium right down to the probe end. The pulse is reflected back and Vegaflex can detect this signal. If the container is empty, the signal from the end of the probe is the actual distance, i.e., the total length of the probe.

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