Radar is widely used as a measuring technology for liquids, but its use in bulk solids measurement has been held back by technical obstacles.
Now, German company Vega claims to have developed a new product - the VEGAPULS 68 - that brings the advantages of this non-contact, continuous measuring approach to bulk solids, with applications spanning pharmaceuticals, chemicals and the food industry.
Radar has been widely-used for measuring the properties of liquids because it "combines reliability with easy handling in widely varying applications," said Vega.
"With continuous measurement of solids, however, compromises often have to be made," according to the firm. Dust, filling noise, mechanical loads and difficult installation conditions often cause unreliable measurements results, or even complete blackout of the measurement.
Vega said its new system is not affected by high temperature or dusty conditions, and has a wide dynamic range that makes it suitable for powdered ingredients in the pharmachem sector. It can process signals up to a thousand times smaller than those normally handled by conventional radar instruments.
"Our vision of a universal measuring instrument became reality with radar technology," said Guenter Kech, Vega's executive director.