Batavia Concrete is located in
Montgomery, IL and is just one of many concrete batch plants
operated by Prairie Materials in northern Illinois. Like most
concrete plants, Batavia uses cement and flyash as ingredients.
They had no idea how much material they had left in the storage
bins until a low or high level indicator provides a signal.
They needed a better solution to make them more efficient.
Monitor Technologies LLC introduced the
wave radar continuous level measurement system to Batavia Concrete
in December 2005. This level sensing system was strategically
acquired by Monitor during 2005 to add to its significant solution
capability for powder and bulk solids applications. Flexar
is proven technology combined with five decades of bulk solids
experience and unique inventory management software solutions.
Monitor knew it had the right solution for Batavia Concrete.
Batavia Concrete uses a multiple compartment
batch plant manufactured by Erie Strayer of Erie, PA. Monitor
Technologies and Erie Strayer have worked together for many
years so Monitor was familiar with the batch plant and bin
design. Chief application engineer for Monitor, Andy Bowman,
decided to employ the Flexar technology and product to help
Batavia Concrete. Fred Thompson, Regional Operations Manager
of Batavia Concrete, has been satisfied with this solution
ever since it was installed. Observations during filling
cycles were very good right off. Flexar didn’t
skip a beat, even with the heavy dust kicked up during pneumatic
Flexar is a guided wave radar continuous level
sensor. Distance/level is measured by the time-of-flight of
the reflection of a microwave signal (transmitted down the
wave-guide, which is a heavy-duty 0.3” diameter SS cable
with 3.9 ton tensile strength) off the material surface. Cement
and flyash both have relatively low dielectric constants and
Flexar’s direct measuring mode was successful in providing
real-time continuous updates of the material level during filling
Both Flexar units are installed with 34’ cable
length. The 4-20mA signal from each Flexar unit is connected
to a panel meter in the control room. Customer observations
indicate accurate measurements and they are very happy. Fred
Thompson reports that he desires to install Flexar units at
other plants within his regional area of responsibility. He
prefers the true continuous nature of Flexar guided wave radar