Thousands of bins, hoppers and silos dot the food and beverage industry landscape (Figure 1), holding grains, sugars, malts, powders and other products. But how much product is really in those bulk solid storage systems? In many cases, companies don’t know because they may or may not have level instrumentation — or if they do, the instruments may be inaccurate, broken or can’t communicate to modern supply chain management software.
Malting plants, for example, may have 100s of silos or bins, with few instrumented. In many cases, personnel at plants and facilities have to do manual checks of the inventory — and it’s often same with grain and corn plants.
It can be difficult to justify the expense to outfit all silos with level instruments. Often companies start with high mover bins used for out loading and expand from there. In this article, we’ll look at the various problems in solids level measurement, and describe how modern radar level instrumentation and point level sensors can solve them.