Level sensors ? the agony of choice?

If Scam is looking for a level sensor, one can be quickly overwhelmed by the huge selection. An even sensor for limit level detection or continuous measurement can be ordered in a number of technologies and design variants. But how do I find the appropriate level sensor for my application?
If one really wants to decide on a level sensor, the main selection criterion may be the electrical output function. If one really wants to monitor a limit in a tank, e.g. dry running (empty) or overfilled (full), then your level sensor should actually be a level switch. However, if it’s vital that you monitor the contents of a tank at length (e.g. 0 ? 100 % fill level), then one needs continuous measurement (= level sensor).
The distinction between level sensor and level switch automatically results in the exclusion of many technologies, if one wants probably the most economical solution. Although a level sensor with combined electronics can communicate both an analogue signal and switching signals, a pure level switch is definitely the cheaper solution, if the application form is limit level measurement only.
The selection of the best option measurement technology
Continuous measurement with float
Level sensors typically feature continuous analogue output signals, such as for example 4 ? 20 mA or 0 ? 10 V, which let the accurate measurement of level and its own variation. The sensors can be based on various measurement technologies such as magnetostriction, reed-chain technology, hydrostatic, ultrasound, radar and many more ? the choice which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Point measurement with optoelectronic level switch
Level switches in a normal float switch design offer a mechanical switch contact or, in electronic version, generally a PNP or NPN transistor output. In the field of switches, additionally, there are various measurement technologies such as reed contact technology, optoelectronics, conductivity, vibronic and many more.
Each of these technologies has advantages and disadvantages, together with complex, application-specific limiting factors such as for example conductivity, dielectricity, density, contamination, colour, pressure strength, etc. A reliable statement as to which technology is most suitable or may be used in a particular application environment can only just be produced after thorough assessment and frequently also your final test in the plant itself under real application parameters.
Note
WIKA offers you a very wide range of level measuring instruments. Cadaver on optoelectronic level switches, hydrostatic level sensors, float switches and additional instruments are available on the WIKA website. You can get videos on the functionality of the individual measuring principles on our YouTube channel. Your contact person will be pleased to advise you on selecting the most appropriate product solution.

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