Solving Food Storage Challenges with 3D Scanners

3D scanner technology started a revolution in accurate inventory management in 2009. The evolution of this technology continues to solve the particular requirements of various industries as the realms of sensor hardware and software combine with contemporary solutions.

3DLevelScanners offer exceptionally precise volume and level measurement of the complex materials held in silos, bins, and tanks.

It is the only sensor that evaluates and maps the material’s surface. It delivers pulses in a 70-degree beam angle, taking many level measurements and accounts for irregular surface topography when computing volume.

Every sensor is provided with 3DVision software that communicates the highest and lowest detected points and the average level created from the weighted average of all measurements taken in the bin.

A colorful graphical display signifies the location of high and low spots within the silo.

View Multiple Silos on a Single Screen

Inventory management influences several departments within a food processing organization.

Plant personnel require a sufficient inventory for production. The purchasing team must know what to order and when, and the finance team need precise valuation for financial statements.

The optional 3D MultiVision software allows users to look at data for several bins in just one window, which can provide visibility that extends to the entire corporation. As it is based on Windows, it can be set up for 24/7 access using an organization’s Local Area Network (LAN).

MultiVision software can be employed with all versions of the contactless, dust penetrating 3DlevelScanner, including the RL, S, M, MV and MVL models. Users can zoom in on thorough information for the bin such as maximum, minimum, and average levels when clicking on a single bin.

For the MVL and MV models, they can also view the 3D visualization of bin contents. The software helps different users at various locations to see bin volume and level data on a permissions basis.

3D MultiVision software makes it convenient to share live bin data throughout the whole organization (or with vendors employing VMI) to benefit logistics, purchasing, financial management, and operational decisions.

With a setup that is user-friendly and operation that is intuitive, each user can tailor their screen to look at a group of bins or all bins and can color-code bins by type of material.

Users can choose low and high-level alerts so that they are notified when bins reach important levels. There are no data access fees or third-party applications because the software is installed on the LAN.

Teflon-Coated Sensor for Clingy Materials

A Teflon-coated transducer can be an excellent choice for materials that cling to the sensor.

The Teflon coating stops dust build-up, which makes sure that the scanner maintains optimum function in difficult materials such as solids or powders that produce too much dust when the bin is active or filling.

This unique finish also prolongs the maintenance cycle by greatly decreasing the requirement for device cleaning after extended periods of use.

Some of the popular applications for the Teflon-coated transducer are bran, starches, meals, sugar, and other materials of similar quality that are equally prone to cling to surfaces.

It is particularly useful for food processors in industries like pasta, candy, and baking where contactless technology is a necessity for food safety. Grain millers will also find that quantifying corn, rice, wheat, or ground soybeans is less challenging when employing the Teflon-coated model of the 3DLevelScanner.

Detect and Alert to Center of Gravity Danger

The majority of solid and powdered substances utilized in food processing are prone to clumping; they flow unpredictably from storage vessels and pile unevenly.

More than making the monitoring of the material volume inside of the vessel difficult, inconsistent disbursement of material can also take its toll on the storage vessel itself.

It has been reported that, in time, the walls of concrete or steel silos wear or fail, which causes denting, cracking, bending, and buckling. It can lead to disastrous silo collapse in the most severe cases.

This has been evidenced in grain bins internationally, where the walls of large storage vessels fail under the weight of grain that has built up over time on one side of the bin.

For plant operations that wish to identify the irregular loading of silos, which increases structural failures or wear, there is now a software choice that utilizes 3DLevelScanners to find the location of the center of gravity, present it graphically, and signal when the center of gravity falls outside of a pre-established area.

On the silo’s roof, a 3DLevelScanner is installed in an optimal location to look at the surface of the material in the silo. Level measurements are utilized to compute the X, Y, and Z coordinates of the center of gravity, which is founded on the topography of the material.

The coordinates are processed in 3DMultiVision software employing an exclusive RS-485 communication protocol. Users can choose the alert parameters and the accepted location into which the center of gravity must fall.

A 3D visual will show where the center of gravity is located and will show if the current center of gravity is located in the correct area.

Operations can utilize this extraordinary solution to assist in the reduction of structural stress when emptying or loading a silo. It is a precious preventive maintenance tool that can signify the need for cleaning or inspection.

Over time, users can extend silo integrity and produce a safer environment by alerting to possible structural stress as a result of uneven loading.

Measure Volume in a Wedge or Pie-Shaped Silo

Food processing operations frequently deal with many ingredients, some of which can be held in segmented silos.

In these unevenly shaped spaces, tracking inventory by volume can be tricky, particularly for granules or powders that are prone to building up along the interior walls or the outer perimeter of the silo.

Purchasing or plant operations colleagues with the difficult task of managing inventory in pie-shaped segments of silos now have a resolution that offers highly accurate volume data.

The 3DLevelScanner analyzes and maps the topography of the material held in these unusual pie-shaped wedges.

This most recent release of 3DVision software update then uses the measured distances and applies them to a 3D model of vessel dimensions. This is then converted to very precise volume measurement.

Different measurement sensors, for example non-contact radar, guided wave radar, or weight-and-cable style sensors only analyze a single distance in these irregularly-shaped segments.

Inventory estimates using a single measurement may be incorrect due to uneven piling of material as a result of the location of the emptying or filling points, or a lack of material flow.

In comparison, the 3DLevelScanner models the surface of the material while considering variations or build-up. It also factors in the height and radius of the segment being evaluated, which makes the volume accuracy highly precise.

Utilizing a system that offers precise data about the dollar value and amount of material on hand can help to decrease safety stocks, maximize inventory turns, and pays for itself by freeing up cash that could be hidden within the inventory.

This can be particularly true for high-dollar ingredients being utilized in several contemporary food products. Build-up on the outer perimeter of the silo segment or along the interior walls of every segment can be identified, considered in the inventory, and addressed by maintenance if necessary.

The same 3DLevel Scanner can be employed for either round or segmented silos, making it a dynamic choice for its long sensor life.

Level Monitoring in Flat Storage Warehouses

There is a shortage of grain storage as precious commodities wait for additional processing as international grain production reaches record levels. The utilization of large covered storage buildings where grain is piled with the use of overhead vehicles or conveyors is the first step to protect the grain.

It is incredibly challenging to guess the amount of grain stored in these temporary warehouses due to inconsistent piling.

An additional revolutionary progression not supplied with any other inventory management system is a new choice of software that can analyze the level of materials piled beneath structures.

Several sensors evaluate and map levels throughout the material surface, while MultiVision software divides the piled material into virtual categories.

Maximum, minimum, and average levels per section are documented for up to 99 individual sections.

The data is collected to display a visual representing the topography of the whole storage building.

This inventive solution is employed to establish an inventory and enhance production efficiency. Discerning high and low sections enables the automation of process control and the management of the extraction or filling of materials.

In verified installations, up to 20 3DLevelScanners have been installed in the upper structure of the roof in the warehouse.

The building is essentially sectioned into areas as small as 1.5 by 1.5 meters with 3D sensors constantly assessing changes throughout the surface and supplying the user with unique visual and data reporting of inventory in the big structure.

This advanced technology is beneficial for corn or alternative grains that are kept in covered warehouses.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by BinMaster.

For more information on this source, please visit BinMaster.

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