×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Resin powder level sensor in railcar

Resin powder level sensor in railcar

Resin powder level sensor in railcar

(OP)
Hello,

I work for a plastics manufacturing plant that uses resin as an ingredient in making product. Sometimes, the resin will be obtained from a railcar (sent from a raw materials supplier) through a vacuum system that hooks up to the bottom of the car to move the resin to one of the plant lines.

One of the problems with this system is that there is no way to tell if a railcar compartment is going empty while out in the rail yard. Workers will literally bang on the sides of the railcar compartment to see if it sounds hollow or empty. Sometimes the vacuum system will suck air because the compartment has already run empty and no one knows about it (or people catch it after it's too late) and this can slow the process down and even cause us to lose a line.

Would it be possible to implement some kind of low-level sensor in the railcar that would trigger an alarm to alert workers that the compartment needs to be switched soon? Since the railcars are not my company's the sensor would have to be movable. What about something that could be placed at the top hatch opening and point down, sensing when resin reaches a certain distance away from the top of the railcar?

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

RE: Resin powder level sensor in railcar

Can you not place something in the line that detects passage of (I assume pellets?), i.e. a type of optical sensor (or just a section of clear pipe).

RE: Resin powder level sensor in railcar

If there is a top hatch that can remain open during unloading just use a long stick with a flat disc or sphere on one end resting on the surface of the resin powder. The stick can be seen from far away, and will fall with the powder level. If necessary a replacement hatch with a hole in it can be clamped in place of the existing hatch. A magnetic switch could also be incorporated on the stick.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Resources

Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Examine how the principles of DfAM upend many of the long-standing rules around manufacturability - allowing engineers and designers to place a part’s function at the center of their design considerations. Download Now
Taking Control of Engineering Documents
This ebook covers tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close