Interview with Jürgen Skowaisa, Product Manager Radar at Vega
PROCESS: Mr Skowaisa, why is the application in diamond mining interesting for the chemical industry?
Skowaisa: The production processes in which diamonds are extracted from rock are similar to many chemical processes. They all require a universal measuring method that can cope with changing densities, heavy build-up and foam on the medium. In addition, they often use aggressive media that place high demands on the materials of the measuring instruments.
PROCESS: Vegapuls 64 has been on the market for a year now. In what areas of application has the high 80-GHz frequency had a particularly positive effect?
Skowaisa: The greatest advantage of the high frequency ranges is the significantly better signal focusing they allow. That’s why we’ve been able to solve measurement problems first and foremost where extremely good signal focusing is required, e.g. in containers with numerous internals. Of course, the new possibilities opened up by the small, ¾" process fittings are also great. Until now it wasn’t possible to use radar sensors in fittings that small.
PROCESS: Are any improvements or further developments planned in this area?
Skowaisa: Of course there are still a lot of requests out there. But thanks to the new 80-GHz technology, many things that were impossible just a few short years ago are now possible. At the moment we’re in the process of creating special process fittings for the pharmaceutical and food sector. When it comes to electronics and signal processing, our development team has done a tremendous job — what they’ve produced so far shows no signs of teething problems.
PROCESS: When you look back over the last year: Were all expectations fulfilled?
Skowaisa: Definitely! The more than 25,000 80-GHz radar sensors now operating in the field represent an incredible success.
* The author works as specialized journalist for the chemical industry and general technology.