Ultrasonic level measurement

Ultrasonic level sensors

Ultrasonic technology is widely used in the field of level measurement, although it is rarely the ideal solution.

Although fill levels in silos can generally be determined using ultrasonic waves, the accuracy of the measurement can be compromised, especially at low fill levels. Thanks to our many years of experience in level measurement, we are able to offer customised solutions that precisely meet the individual requirements of our customers.

Our measuring devices are used when ultrasonic level measurement reaches its limits.

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How the ultrasound method works

Ultrasonic sensors work on the basis of the transit time of the ultrasonic signal reflected by the medium to be measured. This approach enables level measurements in a wide range of applications.

The sensor emits ultrasonic pulses in the direction of the bulk solids or liquid. These pulses are reflected by the density difference between the air and the medium to be measured.

The time it takes for the device to transmit the ultrasonic pulses and receive the reflected pulse again is measured. The measured transit time is a direct measure of the distance between the sensor membrane and the surface of the medium.

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Principle of measurement of ultrasonic waves

Ultrasonic level measurement is based on the principle of transit time measurement. A transmitter sends an ultrasonic wave to a surface. The signal is reflected. The transit time of the reflected ultrasonic signal is directly proportional to the distance travelled. The device calculates the distance from the lower edge of the sensor to the surface from the known tank geometry and the transit time. The influence of the speed of sound, which depends on the surrounding atmosphere, is automatically compensated for by the transmitter by entering specific values and measuring the ambient temperature.

Interfering objects, such as agitators, are ignored by means of an interruption filter. Once the sensor has been installed, it is commissioned. The sensor should be mounted as centrally as possible above the tank so that the sound beam does not reach the side of the tank and possible deposits are detected. As soon as a measured value is found, the corresponding current is output on the signal line. The value corresponds to the current fill level.


Areas of application

Ultrasonic technology can be used to measure fill levels in pasty media, powders and bulk solids.

In the food industry, ultrasonic sensors are used to measure fill levels in tanks and silos containing dairy products, juices and other liquids. Monitoring is important in order to optimise production processes and avoid bottlenecks. For bulk solids in the food sector, we recommend our measurement technology for point level measurement.

Ultrasonic sensors are used in chemical plants to accurately measure the fill level of various chemicals and solutions. This contributes to the safety and efficiency of the processes.

The production of paints and varnishes requires precise dosing of raw materials. Ultrasonic sensors help to monitor the fill level of the required components.

In the mining industry, ultrasonic sensors are used in silos and containers to measure the fill level of bulk solids such as ore, coal or minerals. This is important for production planning and optimisation. Find out about more suitable alternatives for level measurement, such as our rotating paddle detectors.

Limits of level measurement with ultrasound

Challenges with high water levels and special environmental conditions

A major disadvantage of ultrasonic level measurement is its limited ability to detect and measure very high levels close to the maximum, often referred to as the "block range". Ultrasonic measurements are at a disadvantage with outgassing media, different temperature layers and strong air currents. Ultrasonic waves react more sensitively to changes in the medium. In outgassing media, gases can interfere with the sound waves and cause inaccurate measurements. Different temperature layers in the medium can influence the speed of sound and lead to errors in the transit time measurement.

Universal solutions for precise level measurement from MBA Instruments

To overcome these challenges, MBA Instruments develops universal level measurement solutions that go beyond the limits of ultrasonic measurement technology. Our devices are designed to perform accurate measurements even in challenging environments, regardless of the conditions on site. We utilise the latest technology and advanced algorithms to ensure that our universal solutions deliver accurate and reliable results, even in demanding applications.

Do you want to monitor fill levels precisely and reliably?

Let's talk about the right solution for your individual measuring environment. Our universal level measurement solutions are customisable and offer precision and reliability, no matter what environment you are working in.

Jens Kirstein

Sales Manager

T +49 4106-12388 881

Other measuring principles of continuous level measurement

Level measurement with radar sensors

In non-contact level measurement using radar, the measuring device transmits microwave signals from above onto the product, which reflects them. Radar sensors reliably measure light and heavy bulk solids, even in the presence of dust and noise, unaffected by build-up and condensation.

level measurement with capacitive sensors

Whether in the plastics, chemical or packaging industry - capacitive sensors detect solids, bulk solids, liquids, metals and non-metals. Because they are non-contacting, non-reactive and work through container walls, there is no wear. Capacitive level sensors are developed for the detection of fill levels in hygienic environments.

Level measurement with plumb bob sensors

In the field of grain and flour processing, a simple and reliable solution for level measurement tasks is required. Determining the fill level in closed, non-transparent containers, such as a silo, is necessary in order to be able to place repeat orders in good time and thus avoid production bottlenecks.

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