A Solid State

Continuous processing operations require an accurate solids measuring solution.

If the world were flat and uniform, solids measurement would be a much easier proposition than what it is. However, unlike liquid measurement, where the liquids settle evenly; measuring solids is not so simple.

So many factors affect the accurate measurement of solids, irrespective of whether they are static and in storage or moving through the plant. Perhaps the biggest impediment to accurate measurement is that inventory surfaces are uneven and the material drawdown is also uneven due to material hang up in silos, for example. Similarly, measuring using load cells may indicate the solids are moving when they arent.

Technologies for solids measurement vary in their sophistication and accuracy. For example, a basic level probe is just that basic; giving a yes or no signal and thats about all.

More sophisticated but not at the cutting edge is the mounting of process equipment onto load cells. This gives an as at reading, facilitating data measurement during weight reduction.

The move from batch manufacturing to continuous processing has resulted in increased importance being placed on measuring level as achieving a consistent final product requires more stringent control of raw materials. And so many factors affect the materials and their application such as flooding or segregation of free flowing materials, shape or character of the material, and internal vessel structure and size, to name but a few. All relevant factors must be identified when it comes to applying level measurement technologies.

To answer these challenges, an extensive range of contact and non-contact level measurement instruments have been developed, including radar, ultrasonic, laser, and nuclear.

The trick is to get the best bang for your buck. Not everyone needs the same level of accuracy and measurement sophistication, so users need to find what is best for them and their specific purpose the right tool for the right job.

The first questions to answer are:

Is point or continuous measurement required?

Is the process environment best suited to a contact or non-contact solution?

Non-contact level measurements such as ultrasonic, nuclear, or radar; as the name implies, involve no contact with the sensor and are well-suited to industries that can compromise the equipment such as chemicals and petrochemicals, and corrosive environments. They are also excellent at detecting long, wide, and narrow areas of level measurement.

APM has an extensive range of state-of-the-art solids measurement technologies. The APM 5300 Guided Wave Radar has been successfully utilized for several years to measure solid products such as plastic granules. The most recently released APM 5402 has additional solids capability. These systems are easy to set up and use, are seamlessly integrated, and have effective and user-friendly software to ensure the most accurate measurement.

Radar measurement is perfectly suited to small-to-mid-sized applications with small vessels containing substances like plastic granules which currently have unreliable or non-existent measurement capabilities.

The recently launched APM 3DLevelScanner for dust and powder applications has been developed specifically for solids level measurement not suited to radar, such as fly ash from power-generation. This scanner is also appropriate for the cement and food and beverage industries.

The APM3DLevelScanner scans the surface and takes a multiple point reflection from complex surface of material, using low frequency to penetrate dust. It uses this data to calculate the quantity of what is in the bin or silo.

Manufacturers of petrochemical products for the plastics industry have really taken to the APM 3D Solids Scanners. These self-cleaning scanners help reduce maintenance costs and provide more accurate readings and monitoring of raw materials during the process flow.

Industry keeps on developing and requires different solutions to meet its ever-changing needs. Solids measurement technologies are constantly evolving to meet these challenges.

Thank you