Home > Bulkscan LMS511 laser volume flowmeter for precise measurements

Bulkscan LMS511 laser volume flowmeter for precise measurements

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article image Non-contact and maintenance-free sensor for measuring volume flow with Bulkscan LMS511 from SICK
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Those looking to measure quantities of bulk materials on belts can now opt for a precise measuring process in the form of the Bulkscan LMS511. Up until now, traditional belt scales, which are simple and cost-effective, have always been used but they do have their pitfalls. Operators tend to experience problems when it comes to accurate weight measurement. The low level of measurement stability and the sensitivity of these devices, particularly in harsh conditions, also interfere with the production process. This process can be simplified if the system can monitor mass flow as well as volume flow; however, this requires non-contact laser technology to be installed in rugged hardware suitable for outdoor use.

Anyone who uses conveyor systems in their working environment knows how important it is to have optimal control of the belts in each process step. The objects on the belt must not exceed or fall below the targets set for quantity or level. Incorrect measurements can damage the machines and belts, causing the production to come to a complete stop. Considering that traditional belt scales are both inaccurate and susceptible to faults, and taking into account the costs for maintenance and repair, laser measurement technology presents itself as a very attractive alternative.

Volume, level, and centre of gravity

The Bulkscan LMS511 laser volume flowmeter measures volume flow continuously in a non-contact process and also identifies the fill level and the centre of gravity of bulk materials on belts. Thanks to multi-echo technology, it always works regardless of the weather (rain, snow, fog, dust) or the composition of the material at hand. Not even reflections in glass can disrupt the laser volume flowmeter. The laser beam detects the height profile of the bulk materials as well as volume and throughput, at sensing ranges of up to 20 metres. For instance, stones of an excessive size can be detected in good time, before they can block downstream system components.

Using the integrated centre of gravity calculation, the scanner monitors the belt load over the complete conveying line and recognises one-sided loads or one-sided belt loads. It can even detect movements in the belt at an early stage, helping to make sure that the belt does not suffer high levels of wear and tear.

Minimum maintenance, maximum cost-effectiveness

The special housing design ensures that the Bulkscan LMS511 is rugged enough for outdoor use. It is installed above the belt, preventing it from being contaminated by the bulk materials. Furthermore, the measurement process is not affected by horizontal forces from the belt's rollers or plates. Functions for self-monitoring and auto-calibration increase the system availability; for instance, integrated sensors check the transparency of the front screen of the Bulkscan LMS511 and generate an alarm signal if the value falls below an adjustable threshold. This function also reduces the maintenance work. The scanner reports automatically when cleaning is due. These devices can conduct measurements with maximum operational safety, even in Siberian temperatures. An integrated heating system switches on at +5°C and provides heat, even at temperatures as low as -30°C. Even in a worst-case scenario, the system can be quickly put back into action. Finally, the modular concept ensures optimised spare part logistics and quick and straightforward replacement of components.

Written by Xaver Meier, Head of Marketing & Sales for Industrial Instrumentation & 3D Compact Systems, SICK AG, Waldkirch, Germany

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