Volume 7, Issue 7

SmartBob II takes the Labor and Guesswork out of American Polymers Inventory Management

At the Oxford, Massachusetts polymer facility, American Polymers manufactures impact modified and general purpose crystal polystyrene for injection molding and profile extrusion applications. In the beginning, the plant personnel estimated silo inventory either by climbing up the silos and tapping on the sides or by dropping a tape measure through an opening in the top of each silo.

For the past several years American Polymers had been using a competitor’s cable-based inventory system and were experiencing non-stop problems. “We needed a reliable Inventory system that instantly allows us to know which silo has the capacity to hold manufactured product, which silo has enough product available to completely fill a truck, and usage,” said Bob Dumas, plant manager.

In this difficult application, SmarBob II proved to be the very best choice when compared to all the competition. The 36 SmartBob II remotes that are mounted atop each silo are controlled and monitored from a single PC running BinMaster’s Inventory Management Software (IMS). This powerful software program has the capability of automatically scanning all 36 silos at programmed intervals, stores the measurement data for easy retrieval, and can output that data via e-mail or fax. The remotes are connected to the PC using a three port interface box that converts the computers RS-232 signal to RS-485. Each of the RS-485 ports can communicate with up to 30 SmartBob II remotes (90 total) with a single communication cable up to 4,000 feet away.

American Polymers now has a safe, reliable, and accurate measurement system to keep track of inventory and production.

New SmartBob II SureDrop Cable Release System

BinMaster’s new SureDrop Cable Release System keeps the sensor probe from sticking due to material buildup or freezing. This new standard feature eliminates the need for expensive heating systems or having to climb to the top of storage vessels to dislodge probes. If the Teflon® cap would stick when a measurement cycle is initiated, upon taking a measurement the SureDrop ball crimped directly above the cap will drop and strike the cap with the full weight of the sensor probe to dislodge it.

BinMaster Airbrator Pad Designed to Ensure Product Movement

Do you have problems getting your bulk material to consistently flow from your silos and bins? Is your material sticky, or does it have a high angle of repose? Have you tried aeration and found the material continues to hang up or bridge? The BinMaster Airbrator combines aeration and vibration to economically solve these and other common material flow problems. The special design creates a vibration as the air flows between the pad’s boot and the bin wall. This provides a very effective flow aid for all types of dry products. Plus, Airbrator pads do not require a specific air pressure for operation. You may use blower air from as low as 5 PSIG to high pressure air up to 60 PSIG.

The VR-Series Single Blade Vibrating Sensor

The VR-Series vibrating sensors are piezoelectric devices with a single blade vibrating element. When material comes in contact with the probe, the vibration is dampened. The change is detected by the unit’s electronics, activating a relay signal. The VR-Series includes different models. The VR-21 is our standard unit with an insertion length of 7.37”. The VR-41 is extendable up to 13’ through the use of a solid extension tube. The VR-51 is extendable up to 19.5’ through the use of flexible cable. Remote electronic models are available for high temperature applications.

New “Mini-Roto” provides Big Results in a Small Package

Introducing BinMaster’s new mini-roto: a compact rotary level sensor that’s no bigger than your fist. It can be used for high, mid, or low level detection in applications where larger units simply won’t fit. The motor de-energizes to protect against burnout. The rotating paddle indicates the absence or presence of material. It is designed for dry solids applications and is available with two paddle options, shaft extensions, and multiple voltages. A great solution for small hoppers and tight spaces!

Inventory Management Software

BinMaster’s Inventory Management Software (IMS) is the industry’s most powerful Windows™ based, PC program designed to intelligently manage inventory in up to 128 vessels. The software provides graphical representation of the measurement in distance, weight, volume, and percent-full. It also provides current inventory, inventory history, alarms, date/time, measurement scheduling capabilities, and alarm set points. The program is networkable to allow other workstations access to all the information and screens. The program is compatible with Windows™ ’95, ’98, 2000, XP, and NT.