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Monitoring the level of tanks with two-component casting resin using moneo RTM

Visualisation and analysis of levels for the optimisation of internal logistics processes at ifm prover gmbh.

In order to protect the electronics of the sensors from shock, vibration and moisture, potting processes are an essential part of sensor production. For a smooth production process, but also for a constantly high product quality, the permanent availability of casting resin and casting hardener in the storage tank containers is absolutely necessary. The level monitoring application implemented at ifm prover gmbh thus contributes to a reliable logistics organisation of temperature-critical media in the production process.

The initial situation: Drum change is monitored via the line control system and signalled by the signal lamp

ifm prover gmbh uses a two-component casting resin for potting terminal devices. Among other things, the internal control system monitors the current level of the drums. If the minimum level in one of the drums is not reached, a signal light on the line itself indicates that a drum change is necessary.

In the worst case, the visual signal will be perceived too late on site and the drum will be changed too late.

The refill materials coming directly from the warehouse do not yet have the necessary process capability, which can be achieved by adjusting the temperature from storage to processing temperature. This is also a question of the right time. As a consequence, production can come to a standstill and equipment fail because it cannot be filled with casting resin in the appropriate time.

Goal of the project: Supplementing the existing signalling system with a modern real-time maintenance solution.

In order to inform the personnel more reliably when a drum needs to be changed, software-supported level monitoring should be added to the existing alarm via signal lamp. The aim was to ensure uninterrupted supply of casting resin by means of automated, location-independent warning and alarm functions. The two-stage system, consisting of warning and alarm, makes it possible to have the new drum ready at the plant in good time and signal when a drum change is required.

The implementation: level monitoring with moneo RTM

Due to the existing IT structure, moneo has been installed on a central server of ifm prover gmbh to activate the moneo RTM module. The level sensors for drum monitoring are connected to an IO-Link master that in turn is connected to the server - and thus also to moneo RTM - via an internal VLAN.

The successes achieved so far: advantages of vibration monitoring with moneo RTM

Level monitoring with moneo RTM has led to a significant optimisation of the replacement process and to a more efficient use of resources and personnel. Thanks to the two-stage automatic notification, the procurement of the casting resin could be changed from a time-based to a condition-based provision. Thereby, storage costs can be reduced, maintenance work can be linked to the time when the drum is changed, thus reducing machine downtime to a minimum. The continuous availability of the cast resin has also ensured consistent sensor production quality.

Bottom line: These features and services of moneo RTM provide added value in level monitoring

  • Calculated values: Sensor values can be converted to process-relevant information with the help of data modelling
  • Cockpit functions: Comprehensive and individual visualisation of all sensors in the process
  • Detailed information about levels by capturing sensor values
  • Integrated alarm management: Fast reaction to changing process parameters
  • Analysis: increase of levels according to the requirements by means of targeted evaluation of historical data
  • Identification of limit values that are exceeded or not reached

System setup

  1. Continuous level sensor (guided wave radar)
  2. IO-Link Master
  3. Plant control

Dashboard

The moneo dashboard provides the user with an overview of the current levels in the installation.

  1. Current tank level in mm
  2. Traffic light display for the warning and alarm values of the level
  3. Current tank level in litres

Analysis

The analysis makes it possible to observe the consumption in the history. This allows conclusions about the capacity utilisation of the plant. Moreover, it is possible to estimate how long it is possible to work with one drum.This helps to further optimise the supply planning of internal logistics.

Tasks & tickets: Start/stop thresholds

Values for the lower and upper alarm limits are defined for each of the two level sensors. These values are based on the experience in terms of maintenance.

Warning → provision of a new drum at the installation
Alarm → replacement of the drum in the installation

Calculated values

The following value is calculated additionally based on the level.

Current tank level in litres

Since the floor space of the drum is known to be 0.246 m², the fill quantity can be easily determined by using the formula "floor space * level".

  1. Current tank level in mm
  2. Floor space of the tank
  3. Multiplication of floor space and level
  4. Volume in litres as result of the calculation