Francis Flower Site Overview

Francis Flower recover, reclaim and recycle material from industry for the benefit of their customers and the environment. They manufacture and supply a range of products and services to their customers who are primarily in the construction and agriculture industries. Francis Flower manufacture a range of high-quality anhydrite and limestone based products, as well as offering a variety of mineral services including import and export, storage, stock management and mineral processing.

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The Application

With bases in Somerset, Cheshire and Cambridge, Francis Flower wished to access stock data for their production silo’s remotely. With 20+ silos at each site, a single solution was required to reduce extreme costs. In addition, due to the layout of each site, a means of communicating between the silos was required – The location of the silos at each site are fixed at varying distances, with almost 1 mile between silos.

Dedicated VMI were approached with the aim of both measuring and monitoring the contents of all the production silos, at the aforementioned Francis Flower bases at Runcorn, Gurney Slade and Wicken.

The Solution

Each silo is supported by a legged structure, allowing for a suitable application of the Kistler Morse Microcells, offering accuracies of +/- 2 – 4% FSD. Each silo was fitted with the Kistler Morse SVS2000 digital display, allowing for those on the ground to see what is within each silo locally.

Dedicated VMI undertook a trial that incorporated daisy-chaining the silos wirelessly through InvisiLink Wireless Radio. InvisiLink eliminated the need for cables and conduit connections between sensors and data collection devices reducing on cost and geographical issues. This method allowed for silos as far as 1 mile from each other to connect wireless and forward the data to a central data collection unit – The ORB.

Through this process, the silos link together via radio and connect to the ORB remote monitoring unit that can input up to 255 channels, displaying data remotely over the internet via the iLevel web platform.

Products Used

microcell strain gauge


Retrofit strain gauge weighing sensor. Offers accuracies of +/- 2-3% FSD. Not affected by product storage characteristics.

SVS2000 Local Display


User friendly and easy to configure, the SVS2000 controller provides a weight readout on a local display.

InvisiLink wireless radio


Eliminates the need for cables and conduit connections between sensors and data collection devices.

Kistler Morse ORB


The ORB system allows for access to inventory information and stored data from a remote location via the Internet. Multiple sites with multiple vessels can be monitored and managed.

ORB iLevel silo monitoring platform

iLevel Web Platfrom

Web based silo monitoring platform hosted by the ORB unit. Multiple features allowing users to monitor silo stock data and track usage trends.

Site Overview

Francis Flower silo monitoring overview


The ORB platform offers significant cost savings when monitoring bulk silos. The system allows Francis Flower to view all of their production silos remotely via the internet from any location. Francis Flower can monitor production and stock trends whilst managing their assets more appropriately. The ORB system allows for remote calibration of all silos when used in conjunction with the SVS2000 and Microcell system, further reducing costs and man hours on site. Francis Flower iLevel Platform

Furthermore the introduction of the InvisLink wireless connectivity, ensures that silos can be accessed regardless of their geographical layout. This feature significantly reduced the cost of linking the silos back to the ORB unit located within the main offices.

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