Terabee, provider of sensor solution, has launched a LoRaWan-based device for monitoring fill level of remaining materials inside tall silos, vats and tanks aimed at organisations engaged in smart agriculture, construction and waste management.
With monitoring level up of up to 60m detection range, the low-energy, battery-powered sensor is designed to optimise stock replenishment, cut operational costs and reduce dangerous silo audits at great heights.
The new Terabee LoRa Level Monitoring XL device can be conveniently installed on top of silos and tanks, providing over-the-air data about real-time fill levels of stocked materials, whether they are liquids, solids or powders.
“Wireless communication and battery-power are features that our customers have frequently requested in the past year. We’re glad to be responding to customer and market demand by launching this product. This will now allow our clients to reduce cost, time and complexity during device installation on top of silos. It will also enable easier deployment in remote locations,” said Max Ruffo, CEO and founder, Terabee.
IoT enables more efficient stock monitoring
Until recent years, monitoring stock and materials levels has been dominated by both contact-based and non-contact transmitters. The growth of IoT has seen an increase in contactless level sensors, capable of providing years of autonomy through their battery powered design, while achieving cost-effectiveness. Moreover, kilometres of data transmission coverage is gained through LoRaWAN technology.
Terabee plans to work with IoT solution providers and integrators, who are looking for third party, ready-to-install devices that will feed existing applications with useful data about material stock in silos and tanks.
“We’ve also received interest from a wider range of sectors and organizations than expected — people who are looking for effective ways to digitize material levels in places and in assets not previously digitised. This includes telecommunications companies providing LoRaWAN network infrastructure, silo and farming equipment manufacturers, material transportation and storage companies, to name some,” said Ruffo.
A range of benefits
According to Ruffo, Terabee’s new level monitoring device has positive impact across operations, budget, staffing deployment and planning.
Some of the key benefits include:
- Time and cost savings - Installing Terabee IoT sensors on top of silos, eliminates or minimises time spent by staff to manually inspect remaining content levels in silos and tanks. This results in lower operational costs and enables staff to focus on other critical business functions.
- Improved staff safety -With the use of Terabee LoRa Level Monitoring XL sensors regularly measuring and sending (over the air) data about real-time material level in customer silos, there is no need to have people climb and visually audit remaining contents. This often can be a dangerous task and requires specific equipment.
- Ensure optimal use of equipment - In some cases, silos are emptied and not re-filled nor used for weeks or months. This mostly happens because silo owners do not know that the silos are empty. Knowing the current fill level of silos will minimize equipment downtime and ensure more efficient use.
- Optimise stock replenishment process - With everyday data being gathered from each silo, the overall material restocking process can be better planned and optimized, saving costs and time in the process. This can be done by looking at historic refilling cycles at different periods.
For farmers, this enables leaner material restocking. Material providers, such as animal feed producers or suppliers, will have far more accurate estimations of upcoming production quantities and route optimization for deliveries. As a roll on effect, CO2 emission will be cut too.
- Eliminate unreliable approximations - From client discussions Terabee heard a number of old school methods to approximate remaining content quantity in silos or tanks. One that stood out was “banging on the bottom part of the silo and listening for acoustic feedback”. Material in different quantities would produce a different sound and give the user a rough idea on the remaining contents.
Such methods, unfortunately may result in errors in material quantities which may lead to:(a) running out of stock too fast, which can put farm animals at risk or block production lines; (b) delivering stock too soon and having no space to receive and stock the new delivery before the current stock is consumed. The user either needs to find new, unsecure ways to stock the material or pay extra for a return delivery at a later date.
Modern industry cannot rely on quaint, outdated methods - like banging the bottom of a tank - and remain competitive. Digital stock level monitoring is the new way to get smart and gain efficiency.
Founded in 2012 in France, Terabee digitises movement to enable digital transformation. Mastering multiple sensing technologies, the company provides sensor modules and sensor-based solutions for Industry 4.0, smart buildings, smart agriculture, mobile robotics – and during this global pandemic, Covid-19 relief.