Baumer offer an alternative to vibrating fork level switch

With the level switch LBFS, Baumer claims to offer a cost-efficient and reliable alternative to the widely-used vibrating fork level switches. The Baumer device appears to use the RF probe principle to monitor the dielectric properties of the surrounding medium. It is designed to detect the level of viscous or dry substances as well as liquids, and can be mounted in any position in tanks or pipelines. The sensor is unaffected by flow, turbulence, bubbles, foam, and suspended solids. As the sensor head is smooth and very small, even adhesive media do not stick to it. The sensor offers a fast response time to enable fast filling processes as well as an accurate and reliable level control.

The level switch detects high and low levels in tanks and pipelines. Furthermore, it can be used for overfill protection, dry running protection of pumps. There are many fields of applications: drinking water, wastewater, filtration, HVAC, hydraulics, oil and gas, bio energy, wood pellets, flour mills, railway transportation or pump systems.

The sensor is mounted in a compact, very robust, and corrosion-resistant stainless steel housing. It can be installed and sealed easily with Teflon tape. It can be easily configured on PC via the FlexProgrammer 9701. Due to its fast response time of just 0.2 seconds, the sensor offers reliable level detection even in fast filling processes. The device can be used at a wide operation temperature range from -40 up to 115 °C.

The LBFS uses frequency sweep technology whereby a drive frequency is swept by the transmitter and becomes subject to a phase shift depending on the medium. When in contact with the medium, which has a different dielectric constant (DC) to the normal air, an electronic switch is triggered. The high sensitivity over a large sensing range from DC values of 1.5 up to more than 100 allows the level detection of all kinds of powders, granulates and liquids. Even difficult substances like polyamide granulate or paper can be detected reliably. Phase separation in oil-water mixtures is also possible by tuning out the low DC value presented by the oil.

Compared to other measuring methods like vibrating forks, conductive ultrasonic or optical sensors, this technology has further important advantages: it has no vibrating parts and is not sensitive to changes based on conductivity, temperature or pressure.

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