Measuring tanks was a daunting task
This agrochemicals company supplies high-quality agricultural chemicals, fertilizers, seed treatments, and biological nutrition to farms. This bustling plant has over 150 stainless steel tanks, most ranging from 20 to 30 feet tall.
Hog and poultry operations save money by cutting emergency deliveries, reducing the amount of leftover feed, and the vacuuming and landfill charges associated with disposing of wasted feed. Livestock never go a day without feed.
BinMaster distributor Wm. Neundorfer & Company was up for the challenge of making this mill’s inventory process more efficient. Bins containing materials such as liquified fat and lime that piles unevenly are some of the more challenging bins to measure. The site has bins of all shapes and sizes. Some have cone bottoms. Many of the bins are steel, but there is a large slip concrete structure housing bins containing many different materials. Read how SmartBobs and 3DLevelScanners helped this poultry feed mill streamline inventory management.
A mega Midwest based concrete and construction corporation was dealing with limited visibility of inventory control at their central dispatch. There was non-stop silo climbing and dropping of tape measures, which resulted in an inaccurate and time-consuming process for the concrete suppliers’ workers, not to mention the potential safety hazards this presented. BinMaster was up for the challenge of providing a solution for the company’s complexities.
Raw materials are stored in very large silos or warehouses. The material is in piles, often settling in irregular shapes, which makes it difficult for end users to assess inventory levels. BinMaster’s 3DLevelScanner system with its unique multi-point surface mapping capabilities reliably and accurately measures the volume of the stored raw mix in many types of silos, warehouses, or open bins.
Loading cement into a silo creates a very dusty environment that makes it difficult for many non-contact measurement devices to perform reliably or accurately. Cement is prone to buildup and rat holing, making the material level and volume difficult to measure. Knowing the quantity of material is important to ensure adequate inventory for a continuous production process. BinMaster's 3DLevelScanner’s optional 3D visualization tool lets end users see the actual distribution of cement inside the silo, allowing for early detection of buildup along the silo walls. This facilitates the timely scheduling of maintenance and cleaning to avoid unexpected interruptions of the concrete manufacturing process.
This ethanol plant faced three different types of challenges – dust, accuracy and reliability. There were extreme amounts of dust, especially during fll rates of up to 580 tons per hour which made it extremely diffcult to track the flling and emptying processes. They had been using guided wave radar – a single point mea-surement technology – in a very large bin of uneven topography. Using just a single measurement was not providing an adequate level of accuracy, as the level of material varied signifcantly in different areas of the bin.
The very large silos make it problematic for conventional single-point instrumentation to yield accurate measurement of the volume of stored material. Plus, corn storage silos may have multiple fill or discharge points creating uneven topography, which could deem a single measurement point unreliable. It is essential to know the silo contents in order to closely monitor inventory levels, replenish optimally, and ensure an ongoing production process. The BinMaster 3DLevelScanner system for large silos overcomes this problem. Accurately measuring the amount of corn in the silos in real-time is important, giving plant managers an understanding of how much grain was used in the manufacturing of ethanol, allowing them to better calculate the cost of goods sold and the profitability of the plant.
The large silos used to store raw materials can be greater than 50’ in diameter and be over 130’ tall. Monitoring the amount of raw material exiting the storage silos and entering the oil extracting machines is essential for tracking inventory and maintaining production efficiency. Furthermore, material can build up inside the silo and as the temperature rises over time, causing the quality of the beans to diminish. This can ultimately cause spoilage and result in hard clumps of material that cannot be used. The 3DLevelScanner’s visualization tool allows the end user to see the topography of material inside the silos in real time, detect buildup and schedule maintenance and cleaning before damage is caused to the material or unexpected interruptions of the production process occur.
This food processor needed highly accurate volume measurements in order to know when to prepare to refll the bin, as the bin is almost always emptied completely before flling again to prevent damage to the material. The customer was seeking both accuracy and stability at batch empty rates of approximately one-half ton per minute, and was primarily interested in headroom or distance to product from the top of the silo. The material is very dusty and prone to sidewall buildup and bridging with the material surface being characterized by highly uneven topography during the emptying process. The 3DLevelScanner was evaluated against radar systems from several different vendors.
Cocoa bean storage silos tend to be large. Plus, cocoa beans are prone to generating dust, making it difficult for radar or ultrasonic devices to measure the beans reliably and accurately. Cocoa beans also tend to pile unevenly inside the silo, making accurate measurement of the volume of stored beans very difficult. Accurate inventory measurement is necessary to provide an adequate supply of beans for production. BinMaster’s 3DLevelScanner's multiple-point mapping technology overcomes these problems, enabling accurate assessment of the volume of the beans remaining in the silo at any time.
Grain is stored in large silos making it difficult for the end user to accurately measure the volume of inventory available to ensure a continuous supply for the cereal production process. Knowing the amount of grain entering and exiting the silos is important to correctly calculate material costs for financial reporting requirements. BinMaster’s 3DLevelScanner delivers reliable and accurate inventory readings, even in large silos with uneven material surfaces.
Knowing the amount of stored flour is critical for the flow of producing baked goods, since without it production will be interrupted or stopped altogether. Replenishing inventory in a timely manner can optimize purchasing and prevent potential inventory shortages, while using time more efficiently. Because flour tends to adhere to silo walls, creating buildup and rat holing, early detection of high and low spots in the silo will ease maintenance, reduce maintenance costs and allow for optimal use of the silo contents.
In PVC production, the end user desires to closely monitor inventory levels, but this is difficult due to the amount of dust generated when the silo is filled. The relatively low dielectric constant of the material makes measuring the level or volume of the stored S-PVC very challenging for any radar technology. BinMaster’s 3DLevelScanner system using low frequency, acoustic-based technology performs where radar cannot and delivers accurate, reliable and continuous non-contact volume measurement despite extremely dusty conditions.
PP and PE pellets have a low dielectric constant which adversely affects the ability of radar-based devices to reliably measure the amount of stored PP and PE in a silo. Dust generated in the filling process also makes accurate measurements difficult. The BinMaster 3DLevelScanner’s unique dust-penetrating technology delivers accurate and reliable measurements of the PP and PE pellets in the silos, even in harsh conditions.