Tank measurements shared with production planning department

08 March 2011

To meet increasing demand for its latest alcoholic beverage product offering, John Crabbie & Co needed to to upgrade the existing facilities and augment production capacity at its manufacturing plant.

Nine new storage tanks, each with a capacity of 54,000l, were installed. An accurate and reliable contents measurement was also required for each of the new vessels. The information needed to be shared with production planning to meet growing demand, as well as having a local display so that operators could readily see the level on each tank. The company specified VEGAPULS plics-plus radar from Vega.

These new devices look at product level echo in much higher definition with an accuracy of ±2mm. The units are installed on 3in ANSI flanges in the roof of each vessel and fitted with encapsulated antennae, complying with stringent hygiene requirements at the plant. The radars were calibrated with individual vessel strapping tables, using an integral linearization table program. The gauged tank volume is calculated internally by the instrument and the result is transmitted digitally, without the need for any external software, calculation or controller.

The VEGAPULS sensors are connected using HART multi-drop communications with a fixed current of 4mA, where each unit is connected in a ‘star’ layout back to one main 2-core screened cable, reducing cabling, trunking and conduit costs.

The sensor data is carried back on the main signal cable to VEGASCAN unit, which handles the information and converts it using an internal server to standard Ethernet computer protocols. This enables the tank inventory to be shared via the company LAN (Local Area Network). VEGASCAN also has capability of transmitting level alarms via e-mail and SMS or publishing level data to its own website. It also allows connection for using PACTware FDT/DTM universal sensor commissioning and maintenance software via the LAN with communication down to individual sensor level. The local tank readout is achieved using the VEGADIS 61: a display unit that connects and is powered directly from the head of the transmitter. The unit can be mounted up to 50m away from the sensor and offers a 5-digit scalable back-lit display and programming point at the base of each vessel.

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