• In industrialized societies, we are so used to having an abundance of everything at hand that it is not surprising that we tend to forget where it all came from and the effort and logistics that was required to manufacture it. Even if we do take the time to consider these issues, few of us have the knowledge, let alone the expertise, to be aware of many of the industry-specific challenges that are part and parcel of some of the largest industries in the world. By means of illustration, volume and level measurement is an enormous challenge facing many industries that many of us would not even be aware of.

    An Integral Part of Our Lives…and We May Not Even Know it

    Given the major part that volume measurement plays in your life, it would be remiss of you not to at least have a cursory knowledge of its existence and what it means.

    You wake in the morning, turn on your bedside lamp, prepare coffee and toast for breakfast, before rushing off to school. At each stage of your journey, volume measurement has been involved – to ensure that the fly ash from the coal-fired boiler that generated your electricity did not compromise its performance, to measuring the coffee beans you drank and seeds from which the wheat in your bread was manufactured, the pesticides that may have been sprayed on these crops to protect them from nature’s predators, and the plastic bag in which your bread was wrapped. Volume measurement was there at every stage and, more likely than not, we did not even know it.

    How the Big Boys Measure Up

    Massive industries that store their materials in bulk rely on accurate measurement of these materials for their stock control. However, there are many practical considerations involved here. For example, how do you accurately measure the contents of a 15 meter silo? We aren’t talking here about large consumer durables that are easy to measure.

    These stock levels directly affect the company’s bottom line as the closing stock figure is used to determine the company’s Cost of Goods Sold in the Profit and Loss Statement and will be the opening stock figure the following year.

    Stock levels also directly affect stock control which also affects profitability. Obviously, every business has to keep stock on hand; however, too little stock will cause you problems and too much stock is simply dead money. Optimal stock levels can only be achieved from accurate stock measurement.

    Consequently, solids APM-Solutions (an InMark Group Company) – Distributor & support 3D scanner technology. were created to measure the level, volume and mass of bulk solids and powders stored inside a silo or open bin.

    Solving a Big Problem, Accurately

    There have been various methods devised to accurately measure the level, volume and mass of bulk solids and powders stored inside a silo or open bin, all of which involve the sending and receiving of different signals or waves – microwaves, radio waves (radar), sound waves, or electromagnetic waves; into the storage container. Once the echo is received from the wave sent, it is analyzed and a stock level is extrapolated. In general, measurement techniques utilizing this methodology only measure the height of the stored contents at a single continuous sample point which is not a very accurate assumption for the extrapolation of results, meaning that the accuracy of the reading is not very high.

    Other than problems with accuracy, there may be additional problems such as limited range, single frequency transmission, susceptibility to dust, and custom design requirements.

    The industry-leading solution is the APM 3DLevelScanner which does not require custom design or calibration ensuring quick and easy installation, is robust and maintenance free, is not affected by dust, extreme temperature, or humidity, and measures a wide range of bulk solids and powders.

    By measuring multiple points along the surface with low frequency pulses that are transmitted by three antennas, a much more accurate volume calculation is attained as both the direction of the echo is measured as well as its time/distance. Adding to the accuracy is the use of a 2-dimensional array beam-former and Digital Signal Processor to analyze and process the data.

    A major benefit of the 3DLevelScanner is the 3D image of the container’s contents that is generated in real-time and can be displayed remotely. The 3DLevelScanner integrates with existing ERP systems and also can help detect uneven sidewall loading in steel grain bins leading to the saving of money as well as life.

    Volume measurement is a part of our daily lives whether we realize it or not. Thankfully there is some state-of-the-art technology standing behind this demanding task.
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  • Kaustubh Katdare

    AdministratorDec 24, 2013

    Thank you for the post, @#-Link-Snipped-# . Welcome to CrazyEngineers.
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