By Graham McGregor, Product Manager Level, Siemens Innovation is a slippery beast. It’s often disguised in shiny packaging, hidden behind seemingly infinite lists of features, and sold to the public with flashy claims.
“Smallest ever”… “Technology of the future”… “A new era.” Sounds lovely, right?But consider Albert Einstein’s words that “The only source of knowledge is experience.” Einstein knew—as do you, of course—that all the flashy bells and whistles in the world can’t make up for knowledge gained through experience. Through the bumps and bruises, dirt and grime, and real-life conditions that a piece of technology needs in order to be truly innovative. And in the world of industrial automation, nowhere is this more applicable than in the battle for the world’s best level measurement technologies.
Ask the experts: comparing level devices in the fieldIf you want to cut through all of the marketing clutter, you go to the experts. What makes their jobs easier, not harder? What’s the real deal and what’s just hype? And so we did. We went to industrial facilities around the world where users were having trouble with their existing level measurement devices. Let’s take a look at a typical experience: Meet Richard Lemire, Electrical Technical Coordinator at the Laronde division of Agnico Eagle Mines Limited, one of Canada’s largest mining companies. Richard gets called in when things are not working—he is the problem solver when instrumentation is not delivering the results the mill needs. The mill operators were frustrated with the performance of Agnico Eagle’s standard level transmitters—a well know brand that shall not be named—in several process tanks with circulation conditions. “Every time the recirculation is started, the surface becomes quite turbulent and the environment fills with vapor,” says Richard. “And almost every time, the transmitter would have difficulty tracking the level.” Richard consulted Siemens, who recommended that their technology and algorithms would likely work with default settings, even with these difficult conditions. “They said that all we had to do was set up the geometric tank properties using quick start parameters,” says Richard. “And Siemens was absolutely correct! The transmitter worked with no special adjustments and has been reporting the level very reliably where others didn’t.” In this particular application, the transmitter was SITRANS Probe LU—and it is now Agnico Eagle’s standard ultrasonic transmitter to use across the mill. Siemens non-contacting level algorithms are able to deal with the harsh and changing conditions—and the mill has extended its use of Siemens level technology to radar applications, also with good success. But take it from Richard: “Now when a current ultrasonic level transmitter is not performing or we have a new application requirement, we turn to the Siemens SITRANS Probe LU.” A portfolio built on experience What this company—and many more worldwide—found was that it’s the intelligence built into the Siemens level devices that makes the difference.
- Non-contacting radar and ultrasonic technology’s advanced echo processing enables reliable and accurate level measurement, dealing with obstructions and changing environments.
- Guided wave radar that can be installed in a matter of minutes.
- Point level devices that provide backup alarming users can depend on in any application.
- And Siemens’ graphical Quick Start Wizards, which guide operators in getting their devices operational almost immediately—without additional fine-tuning.