Installation of connected sensors for silo monitoring

Installation of connected sensors for silo monitoring

The evolution of silo management now involves dedicated internet applications at the heart of the IoT in the agricultural environment. These applications provide secure and reliable means for stock weighing and monitoring. What is the operating mode of a connected silo? A connected silo ensures the weighing, measurement and analysis of livestock feed products, phytosanitary products, seeds and agricultural supplies.

The data collected by the sensors is then transferred to a cloud for analysis. They are then sent back to the web application, available on the cell phone of the farmer or silo manager. The monitoring of silo stocks is thus automated. The installation of the sensors is a simple and quick operation. The information they transmit allows the company to measure its needs and act accordingly.

L'installation des capteurs sur les silos connectés-1

The interest of installing sensors on silos

In addition to monitoring stock levels of food, plant protection products and seeds, the IoT is revolutionizing the agricultural environment through its advanced internet technology. The operating mode of the connected silo sensors is very simple. Each sensor automatically transmits to the cloud the weight (in tons) of the products remaining in the silos. The silo manager then receives the data that tells him, in addition to the weight :

  • the filling level of the silo ;
  • the date of the last delivery ;
  • the consumption forecast over 4 days ;
  • the quantity of products he can order.

Armed with this data, he can choose to trigger a delivery with a single click. As you can see, the IoT makes objects intelligent. Connected to the Internet, they are able to send accurate information, regardless of the distance between the end-user and the silo. The implementation of this silo monitoring technology is a guarantee of security of supply, but not only.

Having connected silos also saves the manager time. It permanently removes the visual inventory checks and the security risks he was taking during the audit. It can also remotely detect any leaks or excessive consumption of a silo, if the level indicated seems suspicious.

Thus, it receives the information necessary for the proper management of the silos. Even better, the silo manager can automatically integrate this data into his monitoring of order cycles and frequency using the collected KPIs.

Presentation of the connected silo sensors

The sensor is sensitive to the weight in the silo. Its operating principle is simple. Each time product is removed from the silo, the sensor detects a reduction in the weight of the silo. This weight is then automatically recalculated and the new data is sent to the cell phone’s web application. The silo manager or the farmer can then launch a replenishment alert if necessary. This sensor is installed on one of the feet of the silo. It is non-intrusive because it is fixed outside the silo. No damage to the equipment is to be feared. A certified technician will install the sensor by screwing it onto one of the silo feet. He then calibrates the unit and covers it with a thermal insulating foam to protect it from weather and shocks. The sensor resists temperature changes and is waterproof.

L'installation des capteurs sur les silos connectés-2

Composition of a connected silo sensor

The sensor is screwed at man height. It includes an electronic strain gauge (i.e., a sensor) that converts the analog data received into digital data sent to the cloud for analysis.  A box, located above the sensor, contains the power supply and all the electronics. It is from this box that internet communication takes place between the sensor and the cloud.

The sensor/housing assembly is then surrounded by insulating foam. It has a protective action against shocks and protects it from dust, water and sunlight. Its external part is covered with a thermal protection film. It absorbs temperature differences, rainwater, humidity and sunlight.  Each sensor is autonomous in battery power supply up to 10 years.

A complete solution for silo data measurement

The installation of connected silo sensors is therefore the ideal solution for monitoring silo fill levels, optimizing deliveries and accurately tracking stocks of agricultural products. Its simplicity of installation, coupled with state-of-the-art IoT and internet technology, contributes to a new management of the agricultural logistics environment. The web application does not require any particular computer skills. Data collection is automatically displayed on the cell phone screen. To obtain precise information on each silo and to know the measurement of the remaining product, simply select one of the silos to see the 4 indicators which are: the tonnage of available products (feed, seed, etc.), the date of the last delivery, the 4-day forecast of the silo consumption and the quantity that can be recommended to refill the silo.


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