Safety Instrumented Systems / Flow

Choosing the Correct Level Sensor

Significant Percentage of Measurement Devices Aren't Correctly Matched to Their Application at Process Plants

By Brian Sullivan, Valin Corp.

A significant percentage of measurement devices aren’t correctly matched to their application at process plants, leading to decreased quality and consistency of the operation, according to Brian Sullivan, Valin Corp. in "Choose the Correct Level," an article he wrote for our sister publication, Chemical Processing. Often, he says, there's the assumption that one type of level-measurement sensor suits multiple applications. For example, a float sensor may work adequately in a completely liquid environment but, when the liquid contains particles or suspended solids, circumstances change, compromising the sensor's accuracy of the sensor. Maintaining a high level of output quality in any plant requires selecting the proper level measurement device for each application. There’s no “one size fits all” solution.

Unfortunately, it's tempting for companies and individuals to skip a lengthy and involved sensor selection process for a cheaper or faster outcome. This isn't wise, he writes. To ensure picking the right sensor for long-term durability and safety, engineers should consider all possible factors in a design scenario. After all, an incorrectly selected level sensor could the source of a major incident in a dangerous situation.

Are all these detailed questions really worth it for deciding on a simple level sensor? Sullivan says the answer is "yes"— because there’s no simple sensor. For more on this topic, read the original article here.