Wireless Strain Based Silo Monitoring

Keeping up with more than a million pounds of plastic pellets a year would seem a near impossible task.

But at ITM, we’ve developed a wireless strain based monitoring solution to help manufacturers — particularly those in the injection mold business — easily alter existing storage silos to keep a more accurate eye on the levels of dry goods contained in them.

Industry partners report the difficulty of keeping exact measurements of the amount of ever-changing raw materials they have stored in on-site silos. With our solution, however, we’ve removed the guesswork with a system that won’t require manufacturers to go through costly structural modifications.

As we demonstrate in this video, we are able to build a measurement system that will report silo levels by using strain gauge sensors, a wireless signal transmitter and a remote signal receiver. Notice in the lab test, as the valve is opened and the water begins to drain, the signals on the user interface respond accordingly as the values decrease. Though a seemingly simple test, I’m convinced the results hold important real-world implications.

Similarly, we think manufacturers will value being able to monitor multiple silos from a single customized interface and ultimately maintain efficiencies and keep their production lines humming.

— ITM President Tim Carlier

ITM Presents on Rugged Data Acquisition at NI Week

One of the highlights of our summer at ITM is our trek to NI Week, the annual conference in Austin, Texas, presented by National Instruments where thousands of the world’s brightest minds in engineering and science come together to learn about the latest technology in our field.

NIWEEK RAC Pres Small

For the last couple of years, we’ve had the privilege to not just attend but also to present during the interactive technical sessions. This year’s co-presentation on developing a Rugged Data Acquisition solution gave me the chance to share how ITM’s line of Rugged Data Acquisition (RAC) Systems allow us (and our customers) to gather data under even the harshest testing conditions.

Our portable RAC Systems include our LabVIEW-based iTestSystem software and can withstand environmental elements, shock and vibration in the field. Among the many features — whether you need to measure strain, acceleration, voltage, speed or temperature — these units can store terabytes of data that is all synched.

I love talking up the products that come out of our lab at ITM, but getting to share more about our Rugged DAQ solutions in a forum like NI Week takes it to the next level. I’m already looking forward to returning to Austin in 2015.

— ITM President Tim Carlier