Monitoring Content Levels inside a High-Volume Hopper

Level Monitoring Inside a High-Volume Hopper Image

Application: Monitoring chewing gum levels in a hopper

Challenges: Gum can be various colors

Solution: LTF Series Laser Measurement Sensor

Benefits: High excess gain and adaptive laser power control detects gum from up to 12 meters away, regardless of color

Chewing gum is massed in a high capacity hopper situated atop an extruder. Gum is continuously conveyed into the hopper. Problems with the delivery system and other errors can result in inadequate amounts of gum being processed through the system. Errors inside the extruder or the hopper can cause the system to backup, even overflow. Constant monitoring of the hopper’s contents can help identify problems and reduce lost product and productivity.


A single LTF Series Laser Measurement Sensor is installed more than a meter and a half from the hopper in-feed. At this distance, the sensor will not interfere with system operations or come into contact with the equipment or the gum. The sensor features high excess gain, superior signal control and automatic adaptive laser power control. These features enable reliable detection of the chewing gum from up to 12 meters away, regardless of color or reflective surfaces inside the hopper. The exceptional linearity, repeatability and resolution of LTF series sensors ensure tremendous accuracy in measuring the distance from the sensor to the mass of chewing gum.

The sensor has four on-board touch buttons, three status indicators, a two-line, eight-character digital display and an intuitive menu. Combined, these assets simplify sensor configuration and inspection setup. The sensor’s analog output is configured to regulate the rate at which the gum is supplied to the hopper. If the amount of chewing gum should ever exceed the limits established by the operator during inspection setup, the discrete output will trigger the supply feed to shut down. 

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