A non-intrusive sensor for a real-time inventory management
The aim of BinConnect is to streamline the livestock feed supply chain while providing greater comfort and security for everyone with a unique product. The benefits for the feed supplier and the farm producer are numerous.
Unlike all existing intrusive technologies (ultrasonic, laser, radar, 3D, etc.), BinConnect is based on a technology that has been known and proven for over 80 years: the strain gauge. We have adapted this technology to make it a cost-effective, 100% connected and functional tool for all types of bins with legs. BinConnect is a non-intrusive level indicator that allows you to monitor all your stocks remotely and 24/7. Only two holes are needed to attach the sensor to one of the bin feet and only one device per bin is required. The content of the bin exerts a force on the metal foot (whatever its shape), translated into micro-deformations which will be then processed by our algorithms into weight inside the bin. A thermal protection is used to reduce the temperature variations and prevent any potential damages on the product.
The innovative use of this level measurement system coupled with a strong artificial intelligence allows us to send back the filling data while keeping the integrity of the bin. With an accuracy of 5 to 10% depending on the size of the bin, the solution represents a real decision-making tool for the feed manufacturer and the farm producer. The entire system, from the sensor to the web interface, has been designed to offer a complete logistics process optimization solution at the lowest possible total cost and with the easiest possible user interface. Moreover, the sensor runs on battery for at least 5 years thanks to its power effective electronic design and requires no maintenance or physical calibration.
We took advantage of our clients’ experience with intrusive solutions like radar, laser and ultrasonic sensors which wanted to avoid the deployment obstacles they encountered. It was mainly a cost issue regarding the efforts and material necessary to install the sensors on the bins, but not only.
Although, they had to put a lot of effort into convincing the farmer to install a sensor inside the silo, and they oftenly did not succeed in it. The problem is that drilling a hole in the silo tank to install any kind of electronic product represents a major risk for the farmer who wants to avoid waterproofing consequences at any cost.
Also, dust and maintenance concerns with ultrasonic or radar sensors turned out to be serious obstacles to the use of these technologies for feed and grain level control in silos, which is completely avoided with our non-intrusive sensor based on the strain measurement of one of the silos’ legs.
The measurement of ultrasonic, radar or even laser technologies is indeed more accurate and very effective especially on tanks containing liquid material because it remains a flat surface and does not cause problems when emptying as feed product that can sometimes stick to the walls of the silos and filling in the form of a cone as emptying in the form of an inverted cone. This phenomenon of inverted cones can also disturb the reading process of radar, ultrasound or laser sensors, along with a dust-free environment.
The initial development of BinConnect was therefore about finding the right balance between different key points for our customers: to have a measurement accurate enough to go through the weekends and to anticipate any shortage of stock while keeping the integrity of the silo tank and this at the lowest possible price. Besides, it was essential to have a robust and maintenance free sensor, which we have achieved with BinConnect. From the beginning, we have been working closely with key players in the animal nutrition industry to meet the needs of the market. Our product has been specially designed to work for at least 5 years on battery thanks to a low-power communication technology, even in harsh environments with extreme temperature variations and lots of dust commonly encountered in any kind of silo in the farming industry. The main objective of our level measurement solution is to enable large scale logistic optimization, with the lowest possible total cost of ownership and the easiest installation process possible.
Automatizing calibration thanks to a strong Artificial Intelligence
Another reason why the installation of the sensor is so easy and fast is that there is no need to calibrate it on site or to make any measurement of the silo’s shape. Also, there is no need to plan an installation when the bin level is full or empty, we can take it into account later as the sensor will begin measuring the leg’s strain and temperature from its activation.
As a result, it is unnecessary to stop the feeding process and everything can be done remotely to save as much time as possible and to make it as easy as possible to deploy the solution on a large scale.
Two types of data are required to calibrate the sensor and make you receive the fill information of your bins: fill information (e.g. our customers automate the delivery information through a regular CSV or API export) as well as empty level references (0). This information can be sent through our web platform or even with our mobile application in the easiest way possible. The data sent by the device is then processed by algorithms specifically developed in-house for use in farms. This enables us to provide our customers with a stock levels measurement and forecasts control application for the next four days.
Another advantage of BinConnect is that our artificial intelligence has been designed and developed to work on all types of bins. Regardless of the content inside and the temperature outside, our algorithms will process the data automatically. The temperature effects on the metal leg are also corrected by our algorithms in order to have a silo level indicator that is accurate enough for the use case in the farming industry.
Beyond a simple level sensor for silos, Nanolike offers its users two different interfaces to consult the data. The app displays current fill levels, forecasts up to D+4 and a user-friendly ordering tool. There is also a web platform to view silo history and set up automatic alerts for one or more groups of silos depending on your needs (level and remaining days of stock).
Centralizing and analyzing this key data reduces the risk of inventory management errors. It also ensures continuous supply by avoiding urgent deliveries thanks to customizable automatic alerts (emails and push notifications) sent to the recipients of your choice.
— An easy and affordable way to monitor feed bin —
Everyone knows about intrusive silo level sensors (radar, ultrasound, 3D technology, etc.). But have you heard about BinConnect? BinConnect is a complete solution, easy to use and installed in less than 20 minutes at ground level.
Have you already tested radar, ultrasonic, laser and other solutions? You all know the scales but did you think you could use a similar technology and have it in a 100% connected version?
BinConnect is a non-intrusive technology also used in load cells (a reference in the farming industry) that has been redesigned to become 100% connected and at the most attractive price possible. In other words, BinConnect provides continuous level measurement to optimize logistics processes and streamline inventory through the entire livestock feed supply chain.
BinConnect product has been adopted in over 16 different countries around the world.
Discover our Robust, Low-Cost Continuous Level Sensors For Silo Level Monitoring
Unlike radar devices and other intrusive technologies, to connect the bins it is no longer necessary to climb to the top of the bin to get the level measurement. Find out in less than two minutes how to install our continuous level sensor to monitor the stock level of your silos. Here is our simplified installation procedure:
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