In the last few years, we have noticed increasing requests for Internet-of-Things applications, connecting and gathering data about remote assets, that includes monitoring remaining content level in silos, tanks, bins and other types of containers. Typical markets varied from agriculture (animal feed, grains, etc.) and construction (cement, sand, clay, etc.) to waste and water management (treatment plants, etc.).
Silo Level Monitoring Systems: Things to Consider
Conventional silo level monitoring procedures and products are prescribed on an application and budget specific basis. For instance, small-scale farms still widely rely on manual and visual inspection of feed bins and silos in inventory management. Production plants continue to struggle with estimating stock intake for raw component materials without accurate data on real-time levels in storage containers. Tank level measurements are often carried out using floats, or occasionally more sophisticated ultrasonic sensors. There are myriad options with different cost and performance considerations to bear in mind.
Silo level monitoring in virtually every relevant application is going digital, empowering end-users with accessible and accurate information regarding the actual fill-level of their containers.
Our All-Round Silo Level Monitoring Systems
We use low-power LED Time-of-Flight technology to measure accurate distances between the sensor and the monitored target material, and allows users to achieve ranges of up to 60 meters. Because there is no direct contact between our sensors and the monitored silo contents, our solutions offer a non-intrusive, safe, and risk-free inventory management. Additionally, low light conditions or even complete darkness (typical in silos and tanks) is the perfect environment for the LED technology, and it is where our sensors excel.
For systems integrators looking to bring a low-cost, high-performance, and low-power distance sensor module into their design, we offer a portfolio of modules – each delivering unique value.
- TeraRanger Evo 60m: Our long-range ToF sensor capable of measuring up to 60 meters while still maintaining a compact form-factor and lightweight design (15g). This is ideal for medium to large sized silos, usually in agriculture or construction industries.
- TeraRanger Evo 3m: Developed for close-range applications, the Evo 3m sensor creates accurate level data from 0.1m up to 3m, with impressive +/- 2cm accuracy. The sensor’s narrow 2 degree field-of-view also allows installations in vats and tanks with internal equipment without any issues. Typical applications include tanks with fuel, oils, chemicals, or milk vats, and more.
- TeraRanger Evo Mini: Our low-cost (starting from 27 EUR), super compact, and versatile distance sensor. With a measuring range of 0.03m to 3.3m, the module offers users single pixel or multi-pixel modes (1×2, 2×2 px), and a wider 27 degree field-of-view for level monitoring. The Evo Mini is ideal for smaller bins and containers, including waste bins and liquid tanks.
Each of the mentioned products enables users to interface data via USB, I2C and UART protocols. The sensors also come with low power consumption, with the Evo Mini at the forefront, making these the right choice for battery powered integrations.
For those familiar with industrial-type integrations, we also provide water resistant and rugged (IP65) level sensors developed for outdoor exposure, and harsh environments with robust communication protocols (RS485, Ethernet,).
- Terabee Stock Level Monitoring System: Developed for long-range level monitoring in larger containers using multiple ToF sensors connected to a central hub. The central hub (called Supervisor) provides power to connected sensors, triggers these to collect distance data, performs onboard level computation, and outputs final data via Ethernet interface. Users can build custom sensor configurations, connecting up to 8 sensors to a single Supervisor unit, for both single and multiple container level monitoring.
- Terabee IND-TOF-1: The compact and cost-effective range finder from Terabee is designed with industrial operations in mind. The sensor is engineered to work in the toughest conditions up to 12.5 meter range, suitable to mid sized silo operations. Distance data and power is provided via RS485 (Modbus RTU) interface for further connectivity & programming on a PLC system.
If you are interested in adding level data to your business operations or optimizing your stock level monitoring systems, simply contact a member of the Terabee team today. This is merely a brief look at our capabilities, and we will gladly optimize a bespoke solution for your requirements.