Sensors & Transducers


Wireless IIoT sensors optimise new areas for smart applications

Technews Industry Guide: Sustainable Manufacturing 2021 Sensors & Transducers

Wireless IIoT sensors make containers, tanks and silos smart. To this end, the WILSEN.sonic.level battery-operated wireless level sensor is used primarily in smart city, smart logistics, smart farming and smart environment applications. The sensor parameters allow it to be adjusted for a diverse range of installation conditions and for detecting different materials. Standardised LoRaWAN technology allows it to transmit the relevant data wirelessly over a range of many kilometres for several years.

The WILSEN.sonic.level therefore combines all of the important properties required in challenging industrial application scenarios with the connectivity and manageability of an IIoT sensor. As a member of the LoRa Alliance, Pepperl+Fuchs is committed to delivering product interoperability and worldwide deployment of this technology.

How it works

LoRaWAN is a LPWAN radio technology (low power wide area network). Compared to conventional WLAN, this radio network can achieve long transmission ranges (up to 15 km) without consuming much energy. Whenever sensor data must be obtained from widely dispersed measuring points, LoRaWAN is an ideal choice. Points can include waste containers distributed across an urban area or containers with raw and auxiliary materials in circulation on a large work site. Because of the low energy requirement, radio sensors based on LoRaWAN can operate for several years without a battery change, which saves time and money. Other advantages of LoRa technology include:

• Connection of devices up to 15 km away: can penetrate building walls.

• Global availability and vendor independence for quick deployment of IIoT applications.

• Minimal power use during transmission: sensors can function for years without changing the battery.

• Data transfer via radio: no sensor cabling requirements.

• High security and integrity thanks to authentication and end-to-end encryption.

• Low operating costs due to use of a licence-free frequency band.

These properties mean that LoRa can be used to create very large wireless networks to implement applications for cities and municipalities. It can also be used to set up cost-effective private networks on company premises.

The WILSEN.sonic.level

The WILSEN.sonic.level battery-operated IIoT ultrasonic sensor from Pepperl+Fuchs has been developed to record the fill level and geoposition of the containers in which it is installed and transmit this data securely to the Internet. GPS data from the sensor allows containers to be tracked, while further information such as temperature values and battery charge status allow for predictive maintenance. Since this sensor is not tied to any specific system, it can be integrated into any LoRaWAN network and its vendor-independent software allows quick development and customisation of IIoT solutions.

The rugged housing with IP66/67 protection enables use in outdoor environments at ambient temperatures from -25°C to 70°C, with easy setup and parameterisation using a mobile device app at the application on site.

Applications

Smart cities: the demands placed on cities and municipalities to provide citizens with convenient, environmentally-friendly living arrangements are increasing. The WILSEN.sonic.level enables intelligent disposal management, in which the filling levels of used glass, old clothes and recyclables containers are monitored remotely so that the containers are only collected once filled to a set amount.

Smart logistics: efficient supply chains in a globalised world must not run out of raw materials and supplies. The WILSEN.sonic.level helps to determine the fill level in tanks or silos and gives the supplier the opportunity to offer customers a logistics system that is tailored to their needs.

Smart farming: modern agriculture supplies both food and energy. The WILSEN.sonic.level helps farmers to monitor the fill level of distributed feed silos or the pit of a biogas plant, freeing them from inspection rounds and leaving more time to focus on efficient operations.


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