Bulkscan LMS511 laser volume flowmeter for precise measurements

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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