Robust level measurement for building cement industry

Due to the fast development of the building and quarry industry in many European countries during the past years, the demand for more solution approaches for applications of cement plants has increased. Solutions of appropriate sensor technology for content and point level measurement have to be found in order to support the process flow of the cement production in the most reliable way.


How to configure solutions for level control of cement manufacturing processes

One of Italy’s largest building industry suppliers equipped its storing processes with suitable level measurement technology. The challenge was to find a system which can measure reliably even in this extremely dusty environment. Together with UWT a free-radiating continuous level measurement was configured. In addition to that a vibrating fork was installed for overfill protection within the truck transporters.

The manufacturer of concrete and plaster products in Italy wanted to modernize his process flow with a redesign of the measuring equipment. Pre-dosed products are mainly offered, which are supposed to make life on the construction site easier. The manufacturer was amongst others looking for a reliable level measurement system for his new cement storage silos. The requirements for the sensor were not easy. The environment is very dusty and sticky and the surface of the cement is after filling or during emptying with a steep angle of repose.

When it comes to cement product storage the technology needs also to deal with moisture prone to clumping of sticky materials and low density and low dielectric constant. Further there occurs condensation in winter that might affect the measurement. There is a need for the equipment to be safe and reliable, with high availability, easy to install, no leakage, maintenance-free and certified.


Smart non-contact continuous radar determination

Made-to-measure level measurement with the free-radiating radar NivoRadar® with aiming flange. The 78 GHz technology of the radar sensor
has a 4° narrow radar beam and guarantees a reliable level signal in the single chamber silos. Also during filling the reflection from the surface
of the material has a high echo confidence.


Together with the local partner SMERI S.R.L the team from UWT Level Control thus tested by actual application conditions different technologies that have been already successfully applied in extremely dusty process environments. The configuration of measurement technology for the storage silos was finally made with the free-radiating radar sensor  NivoRadar® NR 3100 that has to fit to the special installation demands. The measuring device has to cope with measuring distances up to 19 meters and DK values of 3 - 4. During filling processes, there are extremely dusty, polluted environments. There were process temperatures of up to 80 °C (176 °F) with 0,8bar (11,6psi) pressure.

The combination of a high dust generation and adhering material characteristic were no challenge for the radar transmitter, as the air purge connection allows regular, cyclical cleaning of the lens antenna. The commissioning with the quick start wizard was simple and intuitive. That makes the NR 3100 the right choice of instruments in the cement storing application. The integrated aiming flange allowed the sensor to be perfectly aligned to the desired position on the roof of the silo.


The Vibranivo® vibration level switch is robust,
easy to operate and can, via its series range,
be precisely configured for many applications.



Universal voltage electronic and no calibration

Further, the manufacturer looks for a reliable sensor to detect the max-level in several truck transporters. Despite the cement, other different solids are filled in these tanks. It should be a robust sensor for this harsh environment with a dusty atmosphere and buildup.

Depending on these requirements, vibrating level limit switches are suggested as full, demand and empty detectors as they are especially suitable for use in sticky, fine media.

The vibrating fork  Vibranivo® VN 2020 was an ideal solution with high sensitivity regardless of dusty environment and limited installation space. The devices were equipped with an aluminum diecast housing and robust stainless steel extensions for a long-lasting precise point level measurement in the truck transporters. They have all required international approvals for use in hazardous locations (gas and dust). The switch is a plug and play sensor and was simple in installation and commissioning. It is equipped with universal voltage electronics and could be put into operation without calibration.


The plant operator was happy to be able to install precise and robust continuous and point level measurement to deal with the changing operating conditions, high temperature, adhesion, different measuring ranges, corrosion of the probe, mechanical impact as well as the need for ex-certificates.    


More robust measurement solutions you can BUILD on concerning demanding conditions within the cement and building industry can be discovered in the Webinar recording.