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New facilities for our silos

New facilities for Pawlica grain silos

Pawlica s.r.o. has started to equip its silos with SIEMENS radar transmitters to measure levels of loose materials or liquids with different interfaces. The Siemens Sitrans LR560, the simplest and most reliable sensor, can be used for installation in silos. This radar is the best option as it uses a very narrow measuring beam, a short wavelength and high frequency, and unaffected by extreme dust levels and considerable temperature differences during storage. The Sitrans LR560 radar uses FMCW (frequency modulated continuous wave) technology to increase measurement reliability and to simplify and refine output data.

 

                             

 

The device has a compact design. The electronics are certified for explosive environments. It is designed to be very easily and quickly installed anywhere on the surface of the silo roof and quickly set up to enable measurement to start. As standard the device uses Siemens patented Process Intelligence technology, which also includes Auto False Echo Suppression. The use of Siemens original software makes it easy to check which echoes the device is displaying. Software subsequently modifies the echo curve to considerably optimise the measurements, particularly in cases where the hopper has a complex inner structure.

Siemens Sitrans LR560 radar level transmitters can work independently or can be integrated into a network for local control or for sophisticated data management and processing. They can be expanded to include remote reading via the internet.

Convenience for users

Siemens radar transmitters are an effective, easy-to-install solution.The fact that they are maintenance-free (especially as there are no mechanical parts inside the silo) considerably cuts servicing costs. The use of a lens antenna a the compact design of the radar gauge, which once installed becomes part of the inside of the silo, guarantees the user a long service life with no need to dismantle the gauge and clean the dust deposits off it. The design of the antenna means there is no need to fit the blower that is usually fitted as standard on the plastic cover of the transmitter when used in silos.  

Measurements cannot be influenced by the environment, temperature fluctuations and dustiness. This reduces the amount of service work needed during the lifetime of the gauge and as a result reduces the costs associated with purchasing and operating Siemens radar gauges.

The simple installation of the radar with a DN80 or DN100 flange and the quick setup reduces the workload for the technicians who install the technology and implement it into the control systems of post-harvest lines.

The fact that the gauge can be placed anywhere on the surface of the silo, within a reasonable distance from the material intake, means it can be used in a greater variety of ways and reduces the costs of cabling and other measures when installing on older silos. It makes it far easier to prepare for installation in new silos under construction. The angularly directable flange, which is supplied with the device as standard, means no special angular flanges or extensions are needed. These are generally required when installing mechanical gauges into order to level off the base in a horizontal position, and the fact that these are no needed here again reduces the material costs and amount of work involved in installing a gauge.

Siemens global technical support network means that Siemens consultation or service is fully available even when regional suppliers of technological units have limited access for warranty or post-warranty (long after warranty) work, possibly because they no longer exist, for instance, which can happen given the long lifetimes of radar gauges.  

Production

The Siemens Sitrans LR560 radar transmitter is made from stainless steel with IP68 protection. The angularly directable flange base is designed to be screwed to the roof of the silo. A lens antenna with a built-in plastic cover that ensures reliable reception of the radar measurement signal is situated on the base. The stainless steel transmitter body houses the transmitter electronics and is designed for environments with an explosion hazard (Ex). A gland for the cables to the master control system protrudes from the transmitter body. The stainless steel cover at the top provides access to the electronics. The entire system is covered by protection class IP68.

The overall design of the system has been developed to ensure long service life in the conditions on the surface of the silo and to be maintenance-free for its entire operational life.

Radar innovation

What makes the Sitrans LR560 radar so new and innovative is particularly the reliability, speed and frequency of the individual measurements. It measures from the moment the level first moves, regardless of the shape of the bottom of the silo, so it instantly registers any change, even in silos with a conical hopper. Radar ensures reliable and constant measurement in the bottom part of the cone. In the case of silos with a complex internal structure software enables the signal to be fine-tuned to eliminate any false echoes and thus ensures reliable measurement in such difficult places. It eliminates the problem with static electricity in enamelled silos, which discharges through the hinge of the mechanical level gauges. Static electricity reduces the service life of the electronics of the actual mechanical gauges, despite careful and controlled grounding.

One innovative result of the use of radars and particularly their continual measurement is the option to subsequently convert the data obtained to volume or weight of material. Alternatively, the measurements can also be converted to the shape of the material cone in the silo, thus again specifying weight-related data. The use of FMCW technology enables multiple Sitrans LR560 radars to be installed in a single silo without the risk of them affecting one another. The use of multiple radars in one silo enables the shape of the cone of stored or unloaded material to be monitored. This means that any weight loss in the stored material can be tracked, monitored and quantified during storage. Any conversion of bulk weights for particular materials may then be used to further specify the weight of the material stored in the silo sile.

Overall, the use of a Sitrans LR560 radar helps to increase the scope of the digitization of output data documenting levels of materials in silos and, as part of the digitization of data from the entire post-harvest line, significantly increases the ability to monitor and archive current events and statuses. The use of radar technology and its outputs enables a shift towards Smart Technologies and their use in post-harvest lines.

Technical parameters:

Peak angle of beam 4°
Wavelength of transmitted waves 78 GHz
Operating voltage 24V DC
Operating temperature -40 to +200°C
Measurement range 0 to 100m
Measurement accuracy 0.25% of range
Output signal 4-20 mA current loop, protocols HART, PROFIBUS PA, FOUNDATION Fieldbus
Electronics certified for zone II explosion hazard environments (Ex)
Installation opening DN80 or DN100
Maintenance-free operation
Continual level measurement
Protection class IP68