Level Measurement & Control


Monitoring the level of molten polyethylene

March 2019 Level Measurement & Control

More than ever before, the number of car parts made from plastics and plastic composites is on the increase. According to the American Chemistry Council, plastics account for approximately 50% of the volume of a typical vehicle. Using plastic in cars helps achieve better fuel efficiency and improves vehicle safety. Many of these parts are made of polyethylene, and recently, VEGA Americas helped an auto parts manufacturer track the level in their tanks.

Measurement in the tightest of spaces

The manufacturer, responsible for making vehicle interiors, steering wheels, exterior mouldings and trim pieces for large automobile producers, had not been able to get accurate level measurements in their 30 polyethylene tanks – a material with poor reflective properties. In a particular plant, the tanks are small, roughly 1,5 metres tall and about a metre in diameter. The only process connection is on top of the tanks, and it is pushed to the sidewall because of a bulky mixer also mounted there. To make matters more complicated, there is little to no headspace above the vessel.

Creative mounting made possible with the Vegapuls 64

Because of the low dK product and the close proximity to the sidewall, VEGA representatives suggested testing a Vegapuls 64 on three of the vessels. To bypass the large mixer flange on top of the tank, installers had to reduce the size of the threaded process connection and add an extension. This was made possible because of the versatility of the Vegapuls 64’s process connections. After constructing the elaborate process connection and commissioning the radars, installers were able to get a reliable signal.

The previous instrumentation on these vessels had not been functional for years, so operators had been working blind. This new solution involving a unique process connection and the Vegapuls 64 guided wave radar has enabled the plant to run its processes at an optimal production rate and reduced the risk of tank overflow. The plant is now planning to replicate this setup on the other tanks.

For more information contact Chantal Groom, VEGA Controls SA, +27 11 795 3249, chantal.groom@vega.com, www.vega.com


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