Automation

A Radar Sensor That Can Do It All

80 GHz Radar Level Sensor Delivers Reliable Results Regardless of the Medium to be Measured, the Process Conditions or Vessel Shapes and Installations

28.04.2022 - Until now, users had to consider numerous aspects when choosing a level sensor: Frequency, media properties, environmental conditions, temperature range, process connection – to name just a selection. There was always a risk of choosing the wrong sensor. A new radar sensor now aims to remedy the situation by making it suitable for all applications.

Classically, the search for a suitable radar sensor begins with the question of which frequency could best cover the specific application: 26 GHz, 80 GHz or better still 6 GHz? This is followed by considerations about media properties that could influence the measurement, then about the special features on site at the measuring point, the temperature ranges or aggressive media. Is a standard process connection sufficient or are special materials for the highest requirements the better choice? And what should additional attention be paid to if the sensor is to measure large filling heights or will be exposed to wind and weather all year round, for example?
Customers have to choose from a wide range of radar sensors. And because the application areas are becoming increasingly complex and the processes are becoming more complex, a good overview of the market is required in view of the large number of offers. It takes appropriate know-how and a lot of experience to obtain a reliable measurement and avoid costly bad investments.

“The Certainty of Using the Best Filling Level Solution ”

Whereas device selection used to be laborious and often involved queries, Vega is rethinking this process from the ground up with its Vegapuls 6X radar sensor. „Ultimately, it’s not the sensor that counts, but what users can achieve with it in their individual applications,“ says Florian Burgert, who, as one of the product managers responsible, has been closely involved in the development from the very beginning. „The certainty of not only reaching the goal faster with their choice of sensor, but also being sure to use the best filling station solution, makes all the difference in everyday business.“ With the Vegapuls 6X, Vega now has just one sensor for all applications. The new configurator asks for the type of application and determines the required sensor version in the shortest possible way. The entire process now consists of just a few clicks. At the same time, the personal conversation remains a good alternative to the configurator.
The Vegapuls 6X is characterized by technical innovations: Among other things, it is equipped with a comprehensive safety concept. Its functional safety is ensured by meeting the requirements of the corresponding Integrity Level. The certified sensor has good SIL figures and offers the necessary operational safety to minimize risks in safety-related applications. Another focus is on cybersecurity, which is becoming increasingly important. Here, the sensor conforms to IEC 62443-4-2 and meets the strict requirements for secure communication and also access control. It thus ensures holistic security of the process right through to the control system.
Another important aspect of its safety equipment is a self-diagnosis system. It seamlessly detects whether the safe function of the sensor has been compromised and contributes to the higher availability and performance of the sensor.
Central to these important features is a new radar chip – the second generation of which comes directly from Vega. Since no chip was available on the market that would have met all the requirements, Vega’s research and development team designed it from scratch. „The result pretty much completely sums up our radar experience from three decades“, says Vega product manager Jürgen Skowaisa in praise of the result. „In this scope and functionality, the chip is a world first“. It is characterized by its low power consumption, high sensitivity, scalable architecture and universal applicability. The antenna system and the chip can be connected directly without any additional cable.

Shifting the Focus

In addition to the technical features, the Vega Radar team addressed numerous other questions from the very beginning: How will the technology affect the people who use it in the long term? How can their work be simplified? What future goals of the industry can it be used to realize or re-realize?
This new approach gave rise to the impetus to design the Vegapuls 6X differently. With a view to people and the process conditions of their applications, other focal points have come into focus. These include challenges in use, such as the pressure to always be more efficient, complicated operating procedures or time pressure in general.

One Sensor for All Applications

The actual task of level sensors is to make it easier for users to monitor their industrial processes. They often make processes more controllable and efficient, but behind their basically simple operability, there remains a complexity in their selection that makes them difficult to use. The consequence that Vega has drawn from this with Vegapuls 6X is summed up by product manager Jürgen Skowaisa in two words: „Simplify to the maximum.“He compares: „Whereas there were previously many sensors for one application, with Vegapuls 6X there is now instead one sensor for all applications“. Even commissioning, he says, has been reduced to the minimum with just a few clicks or framework data. „With the settings ex works, our customers can even order a sensor that has been set down to the last detail and only needs to be mounted and connected. It couldn‘t be simpler“, says Jürgen Skowaisa.
With Vegapuls 6X, Vega has completed its radar measurement technology with four important innovations: more safety and self-diagnosis, new radar chip technology, new application possibilities and easier operation. „In addition“, emphasizes Jürgen Skowaisa, „the technology as a whole has now reached such a high level that it is not safe operation that is the sticking point, but actually only the wrong choice of sensor that can still pose a risk“. Thanks to the new approach of Vegapuls 6X, Vega reliably always offers the right sensor design for the respective application in almost all cases, while the experienced application engineers continue to be available for the rest of special applications. „So in the future, the user won’t have to worry about the technology, frequency or design – the measurement just works“.


Author
Claudia Homburg, Vega Marketing

Contact

VEGA Grieshaber KG

Am Hohenstein 113
77761 Schiltach
Germany

+49 7836 50 0

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