Industrial IOT Based Silo Level Monitoring and Inventory System

Storage Silo monitoring inventory management tank level monitoring industrial iot

Bulk material storage silos and tanks are crucial inventory storage units used in wide range of industries. Businesses must maintain their raw material reserves at a level that ensures efficient operation without using unnecessary additional storage. Plant operators are generally aware of what is going on and they have full control over storage facilities. But, there still remains an important challenge: having the right stock volumes at the right times. As storage vessels generally process both inbound and outbound deliveries, it is essential to have both enough available storage volume to accommodate inbound shipments, as well as to have sufficient stock levels to fulfill outbound orders. When one of those criteria are not met, either production will stop due to shortage of stock or extra costs will accumulate due to inadequate storage volume.


Altough checking and maintaining the stock level is the most important concern in bulk material handling, several other aspects should also be considered. Pressure and temperature inside the silo or tank, leaks, dust emmission, health of process equipment, vibration of fan or pump motors, outside weather conditions are some of the important parameters to be monitored for process, plant and operator safety. Condition monitoring of all connected equipment such as pumps, fans and valves provides extra functionality to keep the storage facility running all time without unintended interruptions.


Due to the stated concerns, digital monitoring and automation are quickly becoming essential for maintaining appropriate stock levels and safe operation in wide ranges of industries. Industry 4.0 concept and recent developments in industrial IoT (industrial internet of things) technology have made it possible to achieve efficient management of storage facilities with maximum safety and minimum cost. By integrating intelligent sensors that measure fill levels, process data and environment conditions, silo managers are now able to make better and faster decisions on their operations.


Polimak industrial Iot based silo monitoring system provides one of the most sophisticated solution for bulk material storage challenges using the power of the IoT, wireless connectivity, and smart devices. It provides a 360 degree solution for all storage vessels such as silos, bins, hoppers and tanks used to store powdered or granular bulk solids and liquids. This solution includes remote monitoring of product level, weight, pressure, temperature, moisture, vibration, weather conditions, dust emmission and similar process related variables. Combining and synchronising of all these measuring and monitoring systems and bringing a complete solution from a single source provides 3 important benefits:


 – Efficient stock and inventory control (read more : what is silo monitoring?)

 – Uninterrupted storage service (read more : what is condition monitoring?)

 – Safety of plant and employees (read more : what is silo protection?)


Inventory Monitoring System

Silo and tank inventory monitoring system is developed specifically for tracing the level or weight of liquids and bulk solids in storage vessels and providing meaningful insights to plant operators for managing raw material storage efficiently. Amount of a material inside a storage vessel could be measured by using volumetric or gravimetric measurement methods. Level sensors provide volumetric readings and loadcells provide weight information. These sensors are connected to inventory monitoring platform on the cloud. Sensor values are sent through industrial Iot gateways with increased security. Using the web based user interface, users can keep an eye on their inventories at all times locally and globally. The automated flow of inventory information within the company or between partner companies creates transparency for the supplier and security of supply for the purchaser.


Which Data Are Available ?

Depending on the application and handled material, some or all of the followig data are available:

– Name of the stored raw material

– Material level

– Net weight

– Filling rate

– Discharging rate

– Filling time and dates

– Discharging time and dates

– Name of involved operators

– Health of connected equipment

– Alarms whenever certain thresholds are reached (high level, low level etc.)

– Alarms such as over pressure, high temperature, side winds, leaks, dust emmission etc.

– Maps showing geographic location of monitored silos and tanks together with storage levels

– Current values and historical data

– IoT dashboard providing actionable information



Inventory Monitoring Scenarios , Who is it for ?


Inventory Monitoring for the Enterprises

Polimak industrial Iot enabled silo level monitoring systems let the plant owners monitor and manage their own stocks at one or more locations locally or globally. System provides needfull information to have optimal coordination of raw material deliveries between suppliers, storage facilities, manufacturing sites and processing lines.

Advantages for Plant Owners

– Quick access to current and historical consumption data

– Higher efficiency and confidence in stock levels

– Prediction of run out and consumption prevents costly panic orders

– Security of supply, avoidance of production stoppages

– Cost-effective production and inventory planning in own company

– Information enables plants to deliver more product less often

– Tracing the health of storage vessels ensures process safety


Inventory Monitoring for Suppliers

Raw material suppliers can acquire the responsibility for inventory monitoring and replenishing from customers. Current and historical consumption data is collected by supplier’s system automatically and logistics operations are arranged accordingly. Customers are ensure that enough stock will be available all the time and they can focus on their core business. By using data coming from different customers across geographically dispersed locations, suppliers can optimize production, inventory management, distribution, route planning and logistics operations.


Advantages for Suppliers

– Quick access to current and historical consumption data of all customers worldwide

– Cost-effective production and supply planning

– Cost savings through optimized logistics and route planning

– Reduced delivery cost per tonne by lowering number of trucks on the road

– Improved relationships and long term customer loyalty


Inventory Monitoring for Logistics Companies

Wide range of raw materials are to be used together in same production process. Plant owners have to manage multiple supply chains and make each raw material available at site to prevent production stoppage. Similarly raw material suppliers generally produce different types of bulk products and have to deliver them at the right time to the customer. This brings a complicated problem to solve: managing logistics of multiple suppliers and customers. By monitoring inventories of suppliers and consumers, logistics companies can make a huge impact on their business model. Load consolidation could become a price efficient option, optimized logistics and route planning could bring substantial cost savings.Improved customer relationships and long-term customer loyalty could be achieved by providing security of supply chain.


Advantages for Logistics Companies

– Substantional cost savings through optimized logistics and route planning

– Reduced delivery cost per tonne by lowering number of trucks on the road

– Improved relationships and long term customer loyalty

– Cost savings due to reduced administrative work


Technology and Infrastructure Behind The Platform

Combining long years of experience on bulk solids industry and recent developments in big data technologies, Polimak offers a sophisticated inventory system based on a powerful cloud big data architecture providing insight for process manufacturers to act on. This platform enables following services to achieve complete solution from a single source:

1. Measurement of process values

2. Data collection through secure networks

3. Cloud data storage

4. Visualization of collected data

5. Data analytics

6. Business intelligence