Silo Load Monitoring

Plant operators need to continuously measure bulk material levels/weight in their silos and hoppers to ensure their processes are running safely, efficiently, and without bottlenecks. Measuring these levels allows operators to automate vessel filling, verify material consumption, and prevent overfilling.

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

The two ways to measure bulk material quantity in silos/hoppers are level indicators (laser, ultrasonic, radar) and weight measurements (load cells, strain gauges).  Weight measurements are more accurate, safer to install, and can be installed during operation.  Of the types of weight measurements, ITM prefers to implement strain gauge-based solutions since they do not require structural modification of the vessel.

An ITM silo monitoring system typically consists of weatherproofed strain gauges for each silo leg and a NI CompactRIO embedded controller to acquire data, process signals, and output results. Systems are scalable to accommodate all the silos at the plant.

The graph above shows a typical trend of real silo data during unloading.  Weight levels are sent directly to factory DCS systems and historians via common communication protocols like Ethernet/ip and Modbus, or they can be viewed on the system’s webpage or a local/remote workstations and panels.

What are the challenges when measuring bulk material levels/weights?

Most bulk material storage is outside, so temperature and other environmental factors must be accounted for not only in the durability of the equipment, but in the sensor design and data processing. Changes in temperature, wind, and humidity can result in changes to the load path in silo legs. Load changes are account for by instrumenting all or most of the silo legs and selecting the appropriate strain gauge bridge design which results in continuously accurate weight measurements.

While other systems require calibrating the system with known loads (point calibration), ITM calibrates the system using a shunt voltage across the strain gauge bridge. This process automatically calibrates the system and eliminates the requirement of having pre-known material weight added to the vessel.

For more information about silo monitoring, contact Ryan Matthews @ 1.844.837.8797 x706.  To see how ITM’s structural load monitoring systems work watch this video.

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

Engineering Data Acquisition Tools: cDAQ-9189

When our engineers go on the road to troubleshoot structural component failures or machine vibration problems, they grab their laptop with iTestSystem installed and Pelican case containing an NI CompactDAQ (cDAQ) chassis and an assortment of C-Series modules, accelerometers, and strain gauges. The cDAQ chassis that they typically use is a cDAQ-9189 ethernet chassis.

The cDAQ-9189 is an extended temperature TSN enabled 8-Slot Ethernet chassis designed for distributed sensor measurement systems. The chassis controls the timing, synchronization, and data transfer between C Series I/O modules and your laptop. Since the chassis has an integrated network switch and is TSN enabled, measurements from multiple chassis are synchronized by simply daisy-chaining chassis with an ethernet cable.

For more information about the cDAQ-9189, DAQ hardware rentals or iTestSystem, contact Josh Fishback at (844) 837-8797 x705

Analyzing Vibration to Evaluate Sootblower Performance

ITM stake holders, we have recently received good news from the US Patent Office. They have recently allowed claims relating to the use of vibration measuring devices to evaluate the operation of a sootblower (US20190041201A1). This allowance strengthens the protection of the sootblower health and fouling detection features of ITM’s Sootblower Fouling Detection (SFD) Technology.

Additional Claims: “A method of evaluating an operation of a sootblower in a boiler system, the method comprising: operating a sootblower having a rotating lance tube; measuring a vibration in the boiler system caused by the operation of the sootblower, wherein the vibration is measured with a vibration measuring device; and analyzing the measured vibration to evaluate the operation of the sootblower.”

US Patent #: US20190041201A1

For more information about ITM’s SFD Technology or other Boiler Monitoring Systems, contact Ryan Welker @ (844) 837-8797 x702

Related Links

Welcome Aboard Zach Strong

I’m excited to announce that our team is growing with the addition of Zach Strong.  After graduating in May of 2020, Zach recently moved from Co-Op to a full-time engineering technician position. Zach’s primary role as an engineering technician is to assist with industrial monitoring solution installations and field testing applications. In addition to his work in the field, Zach works in our instrumentation lab assembling and testing custom control panel assemblies, installing strain gauges on customer components, and building and testing customer monitoring and measurement systems.

We welcome Zach to our team.  You can read more about our entire team here.

— Vice President of Operations –  Ryan Welker

ITM Winter 2020 Yeti Cooler Giveaway

Our engineering services department is sponsoring a Yeti Cooler Giveaway.  This giveaway runs from January 6th, 2020 to February 28th, 2020.  To register for this giveaway and view the official rules click the Register Now button below.

Contact Ryan Welker via email:ryan.welker@iTestSystem.com or phone: 1.844.TestSys x 702 for help with any structural testing, strain gauging, and industrial monitoring applications.

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!

ITM @ VIATC 2019: Vibration Institute Annual Training Conference

Come see us at the VIATC 2019 Exhibit Hall in Booth 33!

Ryan Matthews and Mark Yeager (CAT III Vibration Analysts) will be there to answer questions about our iTestSystem engineering measurement platform, our on-site testing services, LabVIEW consulting, and strain gauging services.

When: July 24 & 25th

Where: The VIATC 2019 conference and exhibit hall will take place at the Lexington Center, connected by a joint lobby to the Hyatt Regency Lexington.

Lexington Center
430 West Vine Street
Lexington, KY 40507

ITM Provides Global Solutions

ITM provides software development, structural and mechanical testing services, industrial monitoring, strain gauging, and data analysis solutions to clients on five continents.  ITM is located in Milford, OH, but our software and hardware packages are used throughout the world.  For the past 18 years ITM has traveled to where our specialized services are needed.  Whether it is performing tests at 16,500 ft in the Andes Mountains or on oil rigs in the Gulf Coast, installing strain gauges at extreme temperatures, or monitoring systems in the US or on the other side of the world, ITM understands the challenges of working in tough environments and will ensure your projects are successful whether home or abroad.

If you need tests performed or monitoring systems developed anywhere in the world, contact Ryan Welker (ryan.welker@itestsystem.com or 1.844.837.8797 x702).

Rugged Data Acquisition Systems

 

Save time and money by leveraging ITM’s experience for your data acquisition system needs. Our engineers can assist you with choosing the best hardware and packaging for your testing conditions. Our iTestSystem software can compliment your hardware to provide a complete testing solution. Contact ITM today to learn more! https://lnkd.in/evV3Jtn

Contact Info: Ryan Welker, 513.405.0181

 

ITM Presents Sootblower Fouling Detection (SFD) Technology @ BLRBAC Spring 2019 Meeting

We would like to thank the Black Liquor Recovery Boiler Advisory Committee (BLRBAC) for allowing us to present our patented Sootblower Fouling Detection (SFD) technology at the Spring 2019 meeting in Atlanta, GA.  SFD is ITM’s patented technology for measuring fouling/slagging along the path of an active sootblower in recovery and utility boilers.

During this presentation, Tim Carlier described the original SFD concept, the system’s Key Performance Indicator (KPI) outputs for closed or open loop control, and the system’s potential sootblower steam savings of 1-4% MCR.  He also highlighted the safety and maintenance benefits that the system provides.

For more information about the SFD technology or to schedule an online presentation or site visit to audit your specific application, contact Tim Carlier or Ryan Welker.

Contact Info:

Tim Carlier, President, tim.carlier@itestsystem.com, 513.608.4811

Ryan Welker, Business Development Manager, ryan.welker@itestsystem.com,  513.405.0181