Monitor Technologies, LLC.
    Guided wave radar sensor provides reliable inventory control for PVC pipe manufacturer
  Monitor News
Check out
for the full story.
>> Diaphragm Switch Provides Economical, Reliable Level Detection
>> Using Extensions with Rotary Paddle Level Switches
>> View our entire list of Technical Articles, Whitepapers and Case Studies
>> Featured Product:


Industry News
>> Industry News Center at


Trivia Question

2nd Quarter Question:
What was the first musical instrument Chef Emeril Lagasse played?

Win an item by E-mailing us the correct answer at

Free Hat!




A Wisconsin-based manufacturer of PVC pipes up to 24" in diameter was looking for a level measurement system for their raw material storage silos that would help them with two major issues: timely inventory control and safety. They have 14 silos ranging from 12 ft. to 60 ft. for storing raw materials like calcium, resins and mixed powders (compounds). This facility has the capability to produce around 500,000 lbs. of pipe in a 24 hour period and when production is really going it was hard in the past to keep proper track of material inventory.

They needed a level measurement system that would help make sure they ordered the proper material amounts. Too little of the material ordered could cause costly downtime. Too much material ordered could mean returning material or even overfilled silos. An overfilled silo could cost them up to 4,000 lbs. of lost material plus the labor cost and downtime to clean up and unplug the system.

After some research, they felt that the Flexar® guided wave radar level sensor in conjunction with the SiloTrackTM Inventory Management software would provided them with the most accurate and reliable solution for their inventory control needs. Especially with the dusty conditions inside the silos.

As for safety, they did not want the risk of their people having to consistently climb up the sides of the silos. With the SiloTrack PC-based software, the inventory levels in the silos could be monitored from the office or the Production Manager and Plant Manager could login from home to see the silo levels if needed.

Their initial purchase was for 5 Flexar units and the SiloTrack software for their most used silos. After using the Flexar they would like to replace all of their old units with Flexar. Besides the reliability of the sensors and software, they were also pleased the the response time of the technical support they have received.

Flexar® guided wave radar sensor is a continuous level measurement system using TDR (time domain reflectometry) principles where radar pulses are focused down to the material surface by the unit's wave guide (a heavy duty cable) and the time-of-flight of the pulse reflection back to the instrument electronics is directly related to the empty


Flexar 2

distance in the vessel and the material level. Guided wave radar technology has proven successful and an excellent choice for most powder and bulk solids applications as well as a multitude of liquids applications.

Benefits of Flexar® include no moving parts for less wear and tear; the employed technology allows the sensor to be virtually unaffected by and reliable in dusty conditions; no field calibration is required to provide easy installation; and setup and a universal power supply for high or low voltage options.

The Flexar sensor can also be supplied with a choice of outputs. The analog 4-20mA output version can be interfaced to your existing PLC or DCS and the “Smart” RS-485 output version is compatible with the PC-based SiloTrackTM Inventory Management software. The SiloTrack software automates level monitoring and report generation, sends email notifications to suppliers or corporate locations and allows remote viewing of material level inventory.   

For more information, please visit
or or call us in the USA at 800-766-6486 or from anywhere at 630-365-9403. Also, check out our Level Measurement blog at

Upcoming Shows
NPE 2009
Booth # 131019, West Hall

June 22 - 26, 2009
McCormick Place, Chicago IL

We invite you to stop by our booth at NPE2009: The International Plastics Showcase. Register online as our guest to receive $20 off standard online registration fee. To Register, Visit:


Tech Tip: Using extensions with rotary paddle switches

Rotary paddle switches are a great way to detect when your material reaches or leaves a point in your silo. Frequently we see paddles being ordered with extensions, and occasionally, we see a significant length of extension. With an extension, you can mount your paddle switch in a top mount location, and ‘extend’ the paddle into the bin at just about any length (up to 144 inches), but when doing this; you have to take into consideration a few things.

The extensions are solid; they are subject to lateral forces that may end up doing damage to your paddle, the extension, or in few cases, the switch itself. This is why Monitor recommends the use of a guard, which surrounds the extension and prevents it from doing much traveling while in the vessel.

The use of our Springflex coupling is also highly recommended when the length of the insertion is greater than 18 inches. This takes a lot of lateral force off the paddle and extension by acting as a ‘shock absorber’ for the switch itself.


Extension Example
Example of a rotary paddle switch with an extension and guard

Also, keep in mind that the guard and extension, when ordering, are always going to be the same length, and with a guard, a full coupling mounting plate must be used. This will ensure that you get the most life out of your rotary paddle switch.

Please visit our blog at . . .

John Mish

Sales / Technical Support

John Mish

Featured Product: VibraRodTM

The VibraRodTM vibratory style point level sensor for solids provides more sensitivity especially on materials with lower bulk densities (less than 5 lbs./ft3) where other sensor technologies might be ineffective. Plus, the VibraRod requires no calibration and has no mechanical moving parts.

The unique design of the VibraRod level sensor makes it vitually immune to changes in many different application variables including: vessel contents, material composition, density of material, dielectric constant, particle size, moisture content,  pressure and humidity, and temperature.

The VibraRod line of is offered in standard length, cable extension or pipe extension versions...creating flexibility for virtually any bulk solids point level application.

Each version can be provided with either a plastic or aluminum housing. VibraRod units also include a bi-color LED indication (on Ordinary Loc.) and a traditional relay output.

Recently, the inserted portion of probe on the Ordinary Location Unit Only has been shortened by 1.1 inches (28mm) to withstand stronger lateral forces than previously.

For more information please visit:


Securecare Profile  
Name: Mike Wojcik
TITLE: Electrical Engineer
DEPT: Engineering
ANIV: May 30, 2007

Q: Where are you from originally?
I was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Chicago suburbs.

Q: What is your favorite food?
tuffed Cabbage.

Q: What consumer item reminds you most of Monitor?
I look at many things and think of Monitor level measurement: cement, plastics, bakery, cereal, but I guess mostly cookies.

Q: What is the best aspect of working at Monitor?
Working to design a quality product and not just sending something out the door

Q: Current Projects?
A: I have been working on HMI enhancements.

Mike W.

Monitor Technologies, LLC.

4W320 Keslinger Road
P.O. BOX 8048
Elburn, IL 60119-8048

PH 630-365-9403
FAX 630-365-5646


  © 2009 Monitor Technologies, LLC. All rights reserved SecureCare