Jump to Navigation


Feature this resource?: 

Project Challenge

A call came into Industrial Controls from a local plant that manufacturers anti-freeze and car care products. They were looking for a quotation to add pressure and temperature transmitters to 26 of their outdoor storage tanks because they were having trouble getting reliable readings from the existing level gauges installed on the tanks. Safety was also a big concern, especially during winter months when snow and ice were present.  In addition, the plant experienced ongoing difficulty in balancing tank inventories against production numbers … and they had some ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ money to spend.


When asked if they would consider going wireless, the resounding answer was “No!” until they received the electrical installation bid (well over $150K), which tripled the overall project price for the “conventional” wired transmitter approach. The plant knew that they couldn’t get that magnitude of capital approved.  After a demonstration and a site survey at the plant (with assistance from the regional Honeywell Field Solutions support people), the plant engineering and operations people jointly concluded that the proposal for a wireless tank level measurement solution was a go. 


Project Solution

The installed system included Honeywell XYR 5000Ô wireless pressure and temperature transmitters for each of the 26 tanks, with those signal inputs sent back to the wireless base radio stationed in the tank farm office. The MODBUS output of the wireless base station was connected to a Honeywell HC900 Hybrid Controller that was programmed to compensate level with specific gravity when the tank temperatures changed due to outside air temperatures.  Graphics and trends were designed and programmed with a data acquisition software package installed on an industrial computer in the office. As a result, the project was successfully completed for less than half of the cost of a “conventional” wired system.


The XYR 5000 family of industrial wireless transmitters are specifically designed to provide accurate – to ±0.1% of full-scale reading at reference conditions – and reliable process and asset information at a lower cost. How reliable? These transmitters feature three-to-five year battery life with a low-battery alarm, self-checking software and hardware, and the industrial Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) technology that results in reliable communications between the transmitters and the control system.


For the first time, plant personnel have the ability to accurately and confidently reconcile inventory usage from the tanks against tank levels, especially important when tanker trucks are frequently adding to the raw material supply.


Project Results

Going wireless not only saved the plant money, it gave them tighter inventory control and management via a user-friendly system.  They can now see the actual level of raw materials in the tanks without any sort of human – or weather – intervention.

Main menu 2