Posts

Happy Holidays 2019 from ITM

May your homes be filled with warmth and your hearts with joy.  ITM wishes you a happy holiday season and a new year full of prosperity and adventure!

FFFFFantastic ITM Team Building Weekend: Norris Lake, TN

ITM held its an annual team building over the weekend of October 11th; fun, fish, food, fire, and firsts ensued.

I would like to thank ITM owner Tim Carlier and our host Ryan Welker for a fantastic weekend at Norris Lake, TN.  It was great to hang out and get to know our team outside of work.  Now let’s get to all those Fs.

Food, Fun & Firsts.  The weather was amazing on Friday (mid 70’s).  After everyone arrived and a lunch of grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, brats, and grilled sausages prepared by Ryan, we all went for a four (not three) hour boat tour of the lake.  On the tour, Ryan, Todd, RJ, and Zach all took turns wakeboarding.  It looked like some of the wipeouts hurt more than others.  Some of the boaders reported bruising and extreme soreness.  To alleviate their aching muscles, we pulled into a secluded cove and floated with life vests in the soothing 76 degree water.  While floating and storytelling, we learned a few things about each other, among them, that this was Zach’s first time boating and water skiing and that no one believes my stories.

More Food, Fishing & Fire. After returning to the dock and another Zach first, some of us tried our hand at fishing while Ryan again cooked for us.  Dinner was salad, grilled steak, baked beans and baked fresh blue gill.  After dinner, everyone (almost) headed down to the patio by the lake for drinks and relaxation around the fire ring.  I hear that it was a late night around the hot fire and that the team likes story telling.

More Fun, Fishing, Fire. Saturday, we woke to a brisk, breezy, and drizzly morning and Todd sleeping on the porch.  Ryan fixed us goetta, bacon, and eggs which were delicious.  While Ryan was cooking, I went trolling for fish in my fishing kayak equipped with a fish finder.  Apparently, fish like to stay as far away from my boat as possible.  The fish finder said they were at least fifty feet below my boat.  My excursion was abruptly cut short by a monsoon.  Luckily, I was only 50 ft from the dock, so I only had to empty one inch of water from my kayak.

As we waited for the fog to clear, some of the team decided to turn fishing into a competition.  Todd ended up winning the tournament because he caught a turtle and the rock that I caught didn’t count.  The teams fishing tally: 9 Blue Gills, 1 Channel Catfish, 1 Red Eared Slider (turtle), 1 pair of corroded $400 Ray Ban sunglasses, and a rock.

At three o’clock the dense fog that drifted in after the fishing tournament finally lifted and the remaining team went on a boat cruise to the big water of Norris Lake.  With the temperature in the upper 50’s this ride was a little different than the previous day.  It was the first time I wore flannel with my swim trunks.  RJ was the only one brave enough to wakeboard, because we convinced him that he would be warm while in the water.  From his face while he boarded and the goose bumps when he got back on the boat, I don’t think the warm water helped.

After the boat ride and another great dinner (slow cooked ribs) by chef Ryan, we all retired to the patio again for drinks, music, and more story telling.  The full moon, roaring fire, falling hickory nuts, and the iPhone 11 led to a picturesque evening.  RJ used all of the new features of the iPhone camera to make sure it was well documented.

I believe that our team building weekend was a huge success.  All of us got to work together in a completely different environment than usual and I believe that everyone can appreciate each others contribution to the team.

Notes: other weekend notes that didn’t start with F.

Tim’s pellet gun is loud and probably scared off a few fishermen.

Deerfield lives up to its name.  I saw at least 100 deer over the weekend.

Golfing in the fog at Deerfield is fun for everyone, except for the deer I almost killed with an errant low fairway wood shot that skidded under its legs.  Ryan said it jumped and looked confused.

Everyone wanted to get fruit and veggies on the way home after eating all that meat.

Silo Load Monitoring

Plant operators need to continuously measure bulk material levels/weight to make sure their processes are running safely, efficiently and without any bottlenecks. Measuring these levels allows operators to automate vessel filling/emptying logistics or verify that a process is using the right amount of material.

How do you measure bulk material levels/weights in silos and hoppers?

There are a variety of bulk material level/weight monitoring sensors in the market. These sensors include distance measuring devices like laser, ultrasonic, and radar; or weight measuring devices like load cells and strain gauges. Our engineers prefer to implement strain gauge based solutions because they are very accurate and do not require structural modification.

For these solutions, our engineers identify the silo/hopper load paths and our technicians install strain gauges at these locations. By calibrating the strain gauge sensors to load and summing the load data for all load paths, we can accurately measure the total weight of the bulk material.

A typical silo monitoring system consists of weatherproofed strain gauges for each silo leg and a National Instruments (NI) CompactRIO embedded controller for inputs, calibration, and outputs housed in a stainless steel enclosure.

For more information about silo monitoring, contact Ryan Welker @ 1.844.837.8797 x702.  To see how ITM’s structural load monitoring systems work watch this video.

video link: https://youtu.be/TwVtDYLkFKs.