How to Choose the Correct Point Level Sensors for Level Detection

Plant and maintenance management utilize point level sensors as a crucial tool in controlling the process of production and managing inventory. Employed as low, high, or mid-level sensors, they can ensure a consistent supply of material into a production system and mitigate downtime.

When utilized in combination with an alarm, for example light or a horn, or when connected to a PLC, they increase safety within the workplace by removing the requirement to climb vessels.

Point level sensors are simple to configure using an existing mounting connection. A number of them provide a range of power supplies which makes it easy to wire them to an existing electrical system.

Rotary Level Indicators

Rotaries are a well-known and frequently used device. They are sufficiently adaptable to use in almost any material, from granules and powders with a minimum bulk density of 2 lb./cu. ft.3 to rough, lump materials with maximum bulk densities of 150 lb./cu. ft.3.

There are a number of options for rotaries applied in innovative and unique ways. For high level detection, a custom-length flexible or rigid extension can enable a vertical rotary to be lengthened as far as 12 feet inside of the vessel.

A broad range of paddles, such as collapsible paddles that can be installed via a process connection, make rotaries flexible to a range of materials and allow simple installation.

Video Credit: BinMaster

Capacitance Probes

Capacitance sensors can be modified to a wide range of applications and can be conveniently tailored using various types of extensions, probes, or lengths.

Capacitance sensors function by identifying the absence or presence of material contacting the probe by detecting tiny variations (as low as 0.5 picofarad) in capacitance as a result of the difference between the material’s dielectric constant and the air.

Capacitance probes are supplied with a varied range of features, for example certified for use in high temperature surroundings, for use in hazardous locations, made for applications with too much vibration, models where the probe and electronics are housed in different enclosures, or outfitted with lengthened cables or probes.

A flush mounted probe can be utilized in space-limited or narrow locations or a flexible probe can be employed to avoid obstructions.

Video Credit: BinMaster

Vibrating Rods

The vibrating rod or vibrating level sensor is a piezoelectric driven vibration type level switch. A vibrating level sensor can identify fluffy and very lightweight materials, as light as 1.25 lb./ft.3, for example flakes and powders. They can also be utilized for heavier materials like pellets or granules.

Vibrating rod level sensors vibrate when the active rod is not covered with material. The vibration is reduced when the rod is covered with material, and an electronic circuit triggers a relay to switch and delivers an alert. The vibration restarts when the rod becomes uncovered, and the relay switches back again.

Calibration is not required for the majority of vibrating rods or they can be easily modified to the intended sensitivity level. Some models include remote electronics, high temperatures, hazardous locations, and fail-safe alerts.

Certain vibrating rods can be utilized for identifying sediment settled on the bottom of a vessel, for example a brine tank, or can be extended to a customized length.

Video Credit: BinMaster

Diaphragm Switch

A pressure or diaphragm switch is highly reliable and very inexpensive when utilized in free-flowing granular and dry materials. Models are supplied for standard along with hazardous environments where combustible dust poses a risk.

The diaphragm switch functions by triggering a sensitive micro-switch when material is equal to the level of the switch in the bin. It delivers a signal that can be utilized to stop or start a procedure or alert to a low, medium, or high-level in the vessel. They can be connected to a horn, alarm, light, or into the PLC of a business to show an alert status.

Video Credit: BinMaster

Tilt Switch

A tilt switch is a reliable, affordable high-level indicator that requires no regular maintenance and is simple to install. A hanging tilt switch is fitted via suspension from a flexible cable over a control point.

Its functional principle is quite basic. The switch tilts and activates a microswitch when the tilt reaches 15 degrees while material rises under the switch.

Tilt switches are regularly employed in silos or bins or over an open pit or a conveyor belt. A hanging tilt switch can additionally be employed for plugged chute detection.

Video Credit: BinMaster

The Easiest Way to Avoid Mistakes When Selecting a Point Level Sensor

Point level sensors are very affordable, simple to use, and are highly durable. Choosing the correct sensor for an application is the key to success.

There are so many selections within each kind of point level sensor that it can be overwhelming. Organize a phone call or send an email to the manufacturer to receive free advice on the ideal solution for any budget, material, and application.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by BinMaster.

For more information on this source, please visit BinMaster.

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