iSilo | 3D Inventory Control

Radar-based bulk volume scan for process and material management

Our iSilo solution has been adding value to a multitude of bulk material handling processes by providing precise 3D inventory control for all sorts of silos. Growing industry requirements such as: needing to convert material level to volume or mass, accounting for specific material behavior, and operating reliably in harsh ambient conditions have proven to be too much for conventional level measurement systems. Whereas iSilo uses robust 3D sensors and cutting-edge software to confidently meet these objectives. Additionally, 3D inventory control is one of the most critical components of having a Digital Twin that allows clients to utilize the advantages of real time plant monitoring.

The iSilo solution can be deployed in mines, plants, smelters, ports. The solution is applicable to all bulk commodities, including, amongst others, crushed ore, coal, lignite, potash, sulfur, salt, cement, tar sand, grain, wood pellets, or fertilizers.

Value proposition

Use CaseVolume measurement

Accurate 3D live inventory control.
Value Add: Precise bulk dispatch management.

Use CaseDead bulk measurement

Measurement of wall build-up, caking and funneling.
Value Add: Silo effective volume usage control, optimize maintenance planning.

Use CaseBridging, Doming and Plugging indication

Detect potential issues with material behavior in conjunction with the process control system.
Value Add: Early warning of material issues in the silo minimizes unscheduled downtimes and increases inspection interval

Use CaseRathole detection

Detect development of ratholes in conjunction with the process control system.
Value add: Early warning of failing to meet desired particle size distribution and productivity at point of discharge.

Functional description

Based on robust radar technology, indurad’s iSilo can be customized to the application. The solution utilizes three different types of radars – indurad LinearDynamicRadar (iLDR) for 1D measurement application (level probing), indurad ScanningDynamicRadar-Compact (iSDR-C) for 2D material cross section measurement, and indurad ScanningDynamicRadar-Premium (iSDR-P) for accurate 3D scanning of the material surface. Depending on the chosen iSilo Module and associated hardware, the solution enables various features as described below

Standard features

Height map available from 3D scan of the material surface

iSilo | Material Level Measurement

The iSilo material level measurement feature captures the actual material level of the silo. Depending on the module selected, the accuracy of the measurement increases – upgrading from the 1D, to the 2D or 3D module reduces the measurement error and adds more valuable functions.

iSilo | Material Cross Section Measurement

iSilo | Material Cross Section Measurement

The iSilo material cross-section measurement is available in both the 2D and 3D modules. The cross-section measurement is split into different virtual bins with their own material heights to increase the live data information about the filling condition of the silo. Virtual bins are created by the software to facilitate interfacing to existing PLC systems. An iSilo iSDR-C 2D radar mounted in line with multiple feeding and discharge points, can significantly increase the accuracy compared to a 1D solution, as well as reveal opportunities to determine certain material behavior issues.

iSilo | Material Volumetric Measurement

iSilo | Material Volumetric Measurement

The iSilo feature for material volumetric measurement is available for the iSilo 3D module. Our iSDR-P radar enables precise scanning of the material cross-section and the building of a 3D model by deriving a high-resolution 3D surface model from a dense point cloud. Instead of multiple 1D sensors that require regular maintenance and provide less accuracy due to less measurement points per area, the image is generated by a single 3D radar sensor mounted on a slewing platform. To simplify the connection to the existing PLC system, a chess field of virtual bins can be created. This feature provides a detailed information about the current silo status.

Advanced features

Silo dead bulk example

Dead Bulk Detection

The iSilo 3D module hardware and software allow for detection of dead bulk, e.g. material build up on walls, funneling and caking. An accurate 3D scan of the empty silo combined with silo geometry data creates the possibility to detect the volume of dead bulk. This knowledge about the silo’s live capacity, helps to improve the upstream and downstream bulk supply chain.

Material behavior issues: Bridging, Doming and Plugging

Bridging, Doming and Plugging Indication

When integrated in the user’s automation control system, the iSilo 3D module can help reveal material behavior issues like bridging, doming and plugging. E.g. when the silo’s discharge rate controlled by the customer’s PLC does not correlate to the volume data received from iSilo 3D, a proper warning signal will give the customer more time to address the problem.

Rathole Detection

Rathole Detection

By combining the cross-section measurement with advanced analytics into the iSilo solution software, the development of ratholes can be detected by combining cross-sectional measurement with advanced analytics built into the iSilo 3D module. This provides the operator with the opportunity both to address and to reduce the risk of material flow issues.

indurad sensor systems are built for harsh environments (i.e. dust, moisture, vibrations) and are maintenance-free.