Category Archives: Applications

Francis Flower Measure & Monitor Bulk Silos


Dedicated VMI reveal a new and exciting prospect to the remote monitoring industry - remote wireless monitoring. Francis Flower have, in total, 12 silos at their Runcorn site that hold a number of different powder products. Capacities range from 160 tonnes to 650 tonnes.

The products are monitored by Kistler Morse Bolt On Retrofit system and in general give accuracies of between +/- 2 - 4% FSD. The 12 silos were remotely monitored by 4 Dedicated VMI Data Engines that gave individual users the opportunity to view levels/weights of the silos.

Francis Flower decided to upgrade the system to a digital/wireless operation and asked Dedicated VMI Systems to investigate whether it was possible to achieve this. Dedicated VMI Systems undertook a trial that incorporated the existing reliable weight management but connect the silos wireless through InvisiLink. The replacement for the 4 previous telemetry units was the Kistler Morse ORB remote monitoring unit that can input up to 255 channels.

After a successful trial over 2 remote silos it was decided to go ahead with the system and connect to the remaining 10 silos in 3 remote locations.

The local indication units (SVS2000 x 8 and 1 off Weigh II) were connected via a serial output to 3 off Wireless Stations. Communication to the ORB was sent via Ethernet by the industrial grade GPRS Router. All 3 remote location signals were then transferred back to a digital signal that the ORB could read.


The set up of the ORB is quick and easy and all parameters (silo name, capacity, product held, alarms etc) was set up in less than 10 minutes for all 12 silos. The advantage in using the ORB over the 4 previous telemetry units includes:

1. Significant cost savings

2. Trending facilities for the entire history

3. System is not restricted by 4-20Ma Output

4. Ability to remotely calibrate all silos via virtual keypad anywhere in the World

5. Facility to brand the unit and web page to company name

6. Quick and Easy Set up

Francis Flower have now the ability to view all Runcorn Silos on 1 web page. They can access trends with a click of a mouse, remotely calibrate and check the system from any location throughout the globe and at the same time make significant savings throughout their operation.