The implementation of automatic monitoring systems for silos thanks to connected devices
To find out how much stock he has left in his grain silo, an operator can carry out a manual and visual check. However, this way of proceeding is not without risks and requires an on-site visit.
The explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT) is helping farmers and cooperative agents. With the implementation of sensors that carry out checks and send the data collected to a dedicated platform, everything becomes easier. This will enable more reliable measurements to be obtained, improve safety at work and avoid this ancillary and redundant task. So these are good reasons to monitor your silos with a sensor!
How does the operation of the connected sensors make it possible to dispense with manual controls?
Traveling to the grain storage area, climbing to the top of the towers, carrying out a visual check of the state of the stock and then recording the measurement in a software program or table: this is how “manual” monitoring of the silos is carried out for farmers who do not use connected systems.
On the other hand, with the installation of connected sensors inside or outside the storage facilities, all these steps can be avoided. The operation of these technological devices makes it possible to obtain the desired data from home.
The sensor is capable of determining the amount of grain remaining, with a small margin of error, without the need for human intervention. It then automatically transmits the detected stock level to the operator or company managing the silos, who can consult it on a web platform or application.
However, the users of these connected systems remain in control of certain settings: threshold at which a low-level alert is sent, manual declaration of an empty silo, etc.
What are the advantages of remote control of storage facilities?
Like any other connected object, the silo sensor therefore allows to limit the intervention of man. While some people fear the harmful effects of task automation, it is undeniably true to say that this is a real asset for improving the logistics management of grain storage facilities and increasing productivity.
Limit measurement and calculation errors with connected equipment
When it comes to manually checking the temperature or water vapor rate inside a silo to manage ventilation, the data collected is generally accurate and reliable, thanks to adapted measurement tools. On the other hand, estimating by eye the amount of grain remaining in a silo can sometimes lead to some errors or inaccuracies. Thanks to the connected sensor, human error is thus put aside.
In addition, this type of device collects and records data, which are listed in a dashboard. In this way, errors that can occur during the processing of the information are also considerably reduced: erroneous transcription of figures, calculation errors, etc.
Guarantee the safety of people working in contact with the silos by installing sensors.
In France, the safety devices applicable to silos are rather drastic, to ensure the protection of workers and people living in the surrounding environment. Nevertheless, neglect of certain essential provisions can lead to accidents, sometimes dramatic.
Indeed, manual control may involve climbing to the top of grain facilities, sometimes consisting of towers several tens of meters high, to be able to look inside. The risks of falling are real, but not only :
- the inhalation of dust emissions into the atmosphere becomes harmful in the long term ;
- the aspiration of silage gas is also very harmful, even fatal ;
- Grain silos are subject to risks of explosion and fire, in particular because of these same dusts or the vacuum system;
- The operation of moving mechanical systems also represents a serious danger.
On the other hand, with the help of connected products that detect the stock level, monitoring can be carried out remotely, without the need to be in contact with the storage facilities. This is an effective way to ensure better protection for the farmer and the employees of the company or cooperative that manages the silos, and to create a more serene working atmosphere.
To maximize the security provided by the sensors, it is also recommended that systems be installed outside the grain silo, less than 2 meters above the ground. In this way, the maintenance and handling of these connected products, although they remain manual, does not represent a risk either.
Save time and travel time with connected silo products
For a farmer, carrying out manual controls involves going to the site where his storage facilities are located. However, sometimes these facilities are several kilometers away from the farm and plots. Checking the condition of the stock is therefore time-consuming, which will limit the farmer’s time for more important tasks.
With the installation of a connected detection system, there is no need to move around, since everything is measured and then transmitted on a platform that can be accessed using a simple Internet connection. Results: Valuable time is saved and costs related to on-site travel are avoided.
Time is also saved in data processing. Indeed, thanks to the multiple functionalities applicable to the connected sensors, it is quick to have access to information that is easy to understand and visualize. In just a few seconds, you can find out how much grain stock is left, get a forecast of the state of the stock for the next few days, or make arrangements in advance to carry out an optimized order, depending on the stock level and the storage capacities of the silos. No more need to fill out a side table or make calculations to find out when the next grain delivery will have to be made!