A SmartBob® works like an automated tape measure, dropping a weighted cable to the material surface at timed intervals. Also known as a plumb bob or bin bob, this sensor is highly reliable and has a long service life. A network of SmartBobs can provide inventory control for up to 255 bins of heights up to 150 feet.
Made in Lincoln, Nebraska in our factory, BinMaster offers the strongest and smartest cable-based inventory measurement system on the market today. Network accessories, such as wireless transceivers, consoles for local data access, and web-based and local software designed by our team of engineers ensure your SmartBob system will keep you from climbing bins for decades to come.
Bob’s Smart Design
- Measures vessels up to 150 feet tall
- ± 0.25% distance measurement accuracy
- Simple mounting via a 3” NPT connection
- Molded polycarbonate enclosure rated NEMA 4X, 5, 9, and 12
- Class II, Groups E, F & G hazardous location approvals
- Immune to airborne dust, steam, and temperature changes
- Repeatable results in dry bulk solids, powders, liquids, and slurries
- Software for data sharing and vendor managed inventory
Something for every scenerio
SmartBob II Remote
The SmartBob remote is an electro-mechanical sensor for level measurement at distances up to 150 feet. Each remote is custom-built using a variety of cables, probes, and special options. Long-lasting, hassle-free performance is ensured by SmartBob’s cable cleaning system. It is extremely rugged, with a two-compartment design completely sealed in a strong, lightweight molded polycarbonate enclosure. SmartBob. Requiring no field calibration, SmartBob is easy to install using flat or angled mounting plates, needs minimal wiring, and is rated to Class II, Groups E, F & G certifications.
SBR II SS
Measure the level of solids settled at the bottom of a tank using the SmartBob SS instead of a sight tube. Often used to measure sediment settled below liquid in brine tanks, it comes equipped with corrosive resistant stainless-steel cable, a 3” CPVC pipe extension, and Suredrop cap to keep unwanted material out of the standpipe.
SBR II AO
The SmartBob AO has a built-in 4-20 mA output and integrated keypad. It is wired to a 4-20 mA input to automatically transmit an analog signal containing measurement data to a PLC. The AO is programmed to take measurements at preset intervals using the onboard keypad. Two configurable relay outputs can alert to high or low measurements or be used as an error alarm.
SBR II HT
The SmartBob HT is used where the process temperature is between 240°F and 500°F. It uses a 12” long, 3” diameter galvanized standoff pipe to distance the sensor from the heat source. A 1” stainless steel pipe extension encases a Teflon cable guide to prevent the probe from entering the standpipe and level with the vessel top.
Super High Temperatures
SBR II SHT
For extreme process temperatures between 500˚and 1000˚F, use the SmartBob SHT. It includes a 36” long, 3” diameter galvanized standoff pipe to distance the sensor from the heat source. A 1-1/4” galvanized pipe extension encases a bronze cable guide. The extension prevents the probe from entering the standpipe and level with the vessel top. Aluminum pulleys replace Delrin pulleys in the mechanical compartment.
MultiBob Large Bin System
SBR II MB
Designed for large diameter vessels, the SmartBob MB system uses two to 32 SmartBob sensors mounted on a single vessel. Binventory software reports measurements for each sensor, calculates an average level, and estimates a percentage full for the entire bin.
SBR II HM
The SmartBob HM mounts horizontally. It is used when it is not possible to mount the sensor on top of the bin. This modification includes a rigid extension that is custom-made in lengths from 12” to 36” long and installs through a 4” opening on the side of the vessel.
How it Works
The SmartBob sensor works like an automated tape measure. Mounted on top of the silo, the sensor drops a weighted cable to the material surface. Upon impact, the cable retracts while counting pulses that are converted to a level measurement. Measurements are programmed to occur at predetermined time intervals to monitor changes in inventory over time.
SmartBob has a unique dual compartment design to separate the mechanical and electronic components. To extend service life, the electronics compartment is fully sealed to protect the sensor from dust, debris, and condensation. Mechanical components including the cable and pulley system are housed separately and protected by a wiper that cleans the cable each time it retracts. The housing is Class II rated for hazardous locations.
Select from nylon or Teflon®-jacketed, bare stainless steel, or FDA-approved cable
- Idler arm brake keeps probe from sliding down the angle of repose in active vessels
- Captive pulley system prevents cable from jumping off pulleys
- Sealed bearings for trouble-free operation
- Pulley channel scraper keeps the pulley channel free of debris
- Cable-leveling supply pulley ensures proper cable spooling
- Standard air purge connection for use in harsh environments
- Cable wiper wipes cable with each retraction to keep it clean
- Direct-drive reversible motor with electronic torque control for maximum pull strength
- Optional motor gearbox heater for optimal operation in cold climates
- Dual conduit entries
- 110/220 VAC power options
- Removeable wire terminals for easy installation
- Test button to remotely initiate a measurement
- Set a unique sensor address using a dip switch panel
- Protected optical encoder and sensor wheel
The SureDrop cable release system keeps the sensor probe from sticking due to material buildup or freezing. A Teflon® cap and ball seal the mechanical compartment from dust while the unit is not taking a measurement. If the Teflon® caps sticks, the ball above it will strike the cap with the full weight of the sensor probe to dislodge it.
The 3” NPT mounting plates are made of powder-coated carbon steel. They come in 0°, 5°, 10°, 15°, 20°, 24°, 30°, 35°, and 40° angles to accommodate flat or slanted roofs.
Optimal Mounting Location
SmartBob is ideally mounted 1/6 of the diameter from the outside perimeter on center-fill, center-discharge silos. This distance is proven to provide the most accurate inventory data, accounting for the angle of repose in free-flowing materials.
Industries that Use SmartBob
SmartBob is used in vessels up to 150 feet tall that contain solids, powders, liquids, slurries, or in brine tanks. It is proven reliable in dusty and demanding applications. It is used for on-premise, corporate-wide, and vendor-managed inventory monitoring. Plastics, chemicals, coal, concrete, food ingredients, pharmaceuticals, feed, grain, and aggregates processors are just a few industries where SmartBob excels.
Inventory Access Options
From cloud access to local displays
BinCloud is BinMaster’s cloud-based software-as-a-service platform that allows for inventory monitoring from a phone, tablet, or PC. It is compatible with SmartBob and other sensors with a 4 to 20 mA analog output or Modbus RTU. It is scalable to handle multiple vessels and locations. BinCloud offers real-time monitoring and automated alerts wherever there is internet service on site or away from the plant.
BinMaster offers specialized versions of BinCloud tailored to the needs of industry.
AgriView: Grain, seed, feed, pet food, ag chemicals, or fertilizer.
BinView®: Industries with storage or process bins, tanks, or silos of solids or liquids.
CementView®: Cement and ready-mix concrete plants, asphalt, sand, or gravel.
FeedView®: Hog, poultry, dairy, or beef cattle operations and feed mills.
ResinView: Plastics manufacturer, molders using pellets, powders, or flakes.
Binventory—formerly known as eBob—is software installed on a PC or local area network. It is used to manage level data for up to 255 vessels at one or multiple sites. It is compatible with SmartBobs and other sensors using Modbus RTU protocol. Inventory data is updated continuously as measurements are taken. High and low-level alerts are automatically sent via email or text. Levels are displayed graphically for one or multiple vessels. Details for each vessel and historical reports can be reviewed on the software, emailed, or exported.
This compact NEMA 4X console is centrally located for walk or drive-up ground-level access to measurement data in the plant or at a truck loadout. Push-button functionality allows users to scroll through level data for up to 120 vessels. Measurements are displayed as distance to material, height of material, and percentage full. Estimated volume can be converted to feet, cubic feet, US gallons, bushels, or metric tons. Settings and last measurements are stored in a non-volatile memory in the case of power loss.
A C-50 analog expansion console is added when the C-100 is used for networked communications. Each C-50 can hold up to six cards, with each card supporting up to four 4-20 mA outputs. Up to five expansion consoles can be used in a daisy-chained network to accommodate up to 120 SmartBobs.
Direct to a PLC
The SmartBob II AO was designed for operations that prefer direct 4-20 mA analog output versus using the C-100 console, BinCloud, or Binventory software. The SmartBob II AO can send data directly to a PLC, control room, or HMI.
Probes for every purpose
Made of stainless steel, the B1 is the most common probe. It is suitable for materials with a bulk density greater than 20 pounds per cubic foot. This heavy probe can drop through water to measure submersed solids. The B2 is the same probe made of 416 stainless steel that can be picked up by a magnet. Coated with Teflon®, the B14 resists sticky materials.
Commonly used in frac sand, the B11 glass spike is filled with sand and is used to eliminate the risk of metal being introduced into the production process.
The B9 is a round 6” sphere made of stainless steel. It is used in liquids, slurries, and light powders. For sticky materials, the B13 is coated with Teflon®.
6” Inverted Cone
The B4 is a 6” hollow inverted cone made of stainless steel. It is suitable for liquids and very light solids or powders with a bulk density of at least 3 pounds per cubic foot. The Teflon®-coated B13 model is available for sticky materials.
The 32-ounce “digestible” bottle can easily pass through a rotary valve or screw conveyor without damaging equipment. The B5 model comes filled with food grade paraffin wax. The B6 is empty for filling in the field. The B12 is filled with wax and magnetic stainless-steel balls.
4” Inverted Cone
Made of stainless steel, the B3 is a weighted 4” inverted hollow cone. It is used in light solids and powders with a bulk density of more than 8 pounds per cubic foot.
The SmartBob can be configured with a motor gearbox heater and thermostat for climates where temperatures consistently fall below 32°F.
A pipe extension option keeps the probe flush with the vessel top and prevents the probe from being pulled up into a standpipe. It acts as a bushing to protect the cable from fraying. Extensions come in custom lengths of 4 inches to 20 feet made of galvanized, stainless steel, or CPVC.
The C1 nylon-jacketed cable with a temperature range up to 250°F is most common. For temperatures up to 500°F, the C2 Teflon®-jacketed cable is used. The C3 bare cable is used in extreme temperatures up to 1000°. For food operations, the C5 is an FDA-approved nylon-jacketed cable.
Simplify installation and reduce wiring costs using wireless data transmitters. A point-to-point network wireless solution eliminates running RS-485 cable from the control source on the ground to the first SmartBob II sensor in a single group of vessels. A multi-point solution eliminates running RS-485 cable from the control source to the first SmartBob II sensor in multiple groups of vessels.