Scale-Tron, automation, sensors and weighing systems

SILOWEIGH FAQs - frequently asked questions re: silo weighing

Can SiloWeigh be installed on any type of silo leg? Is there any limit to the silo size or capacity? Will it wear out in a few years? How easy is SiloWeigh to install? This page answers these questions and others.

Can SiloWeigh be installed on any type of silo leg? Not all. The leg must be able to accommodate either Silex or weldable sensors.  The easiest leg for installation is of "H" or "I" beam  construction.  This section allows the sensors to be installed in the centre of the symmetrical section, where cancellation of side forces and temperature errors is best. The popular "O" section legs can be accommodated by either drilling and tapping the leg or welding special tabs onto the leg with the jig provided.  Our installation kits make this task easy and eliminate risk.  It is also possible to install gauges on rectangular, "L" angle, "S" section and agricultural channel type legs. Call us if you are unsure.

SiloWeigh will fit most legs but not all.  Ask us to be sure.

Is there any limit to the silo size or capacity?  No, the SiloWeigh gauges measure the stress in the metal.  Since the legs are sized to support the silo's weight without collapsing, there will always be a measurable stress.  For highest output and best accuracy, however, the legs should not be overdesigned, since too heavy a cross section reduces stress and the resulting output signal. If possible, measure and calculate the cross section area of the leg, then divide the total load (of contents) by the number of legs and then by the cross section of one leg (or use our Stress Calculator).  If the resulting stress is greater than 1500 lb per square inch, there should be adequate output.

There is no practical limit to size or capacity but calculate stress to be sure.

Will it wear out in a few years? Not likely. Since SiloWeigh has no moving parts, the only reason for a breakdown is water leakage into one of the waterproof junction boxes.  The gauges are fully waterproof to IP67 and will withstand weather for many years.

SiloWeigh should last for many years when installed correctly.

How easy is SiloWeigh to install? The Silex sensors and our installation kits simplify the procedure, allowing anyone who can handle a drill to install the whole system.  If the installation is outdoors you will work better if the weather is goodTry not to do it in the rain or in freezing temperatures.  The electrical skills are minimal;  if you have wired a VCR or stereo system you can do it.  Our instructions have been thoroughly tested and rewritten until all the likely problems have been eliminated.  Our phone help can give you peace of mind, however;  call us on your cell phone right from the silo.

You should have no problem but we're here if you get stuck.

Can I use SiloWeigh with my own weight indicator? Yes, it can be done;  this is why we price it either with or without the indicator.  A full four leg SiloWeigh installation is equivalent to four regular 350 Ohm load cells, which can be handled by all but the most basic indicators.  If you are familiar with the indicator's calibration procedure there should be no problem.  However, all weight indicators require an empty scale or vessel for calibration, and this is rarely possible.  Our Bar-Graph indicator solves this problem and also indicates the level in the silo as a vertical bar from empty to full, allowing anyone to see it at a glance - a major customer benefit.  Another warning - don't calibrate a weight indicator in lb or kg.  The small graduation sizes will make the display appear to be drifting all the time.  Your smallest graduations should be 1/10 ton.

We recommend that our indicators be used for best customer satisfaction.

Can I use SiloWeigh to batch material out of my silo? It sounds attractive, but consider the error that you may get.  SiloWeigh is not an accurate scale and could drift by an unacceptable amount during your feed period.  Unless you are using it to check overloading of trucks that are filled in no more than a few minutes, we wouldn't recommend it.  An accuracy of 2% of full scale on a 100,000 lb silo is equal to an error of 2000 lb.  Over a few minutes the error should be less than this, but how much less?  There's no easy answer. 

Don't batch using SiloWeigh unless you can stand large errors.

How often do I need to recalibrate my silo display?  Whenever you feel that it shows an error.  Normally this is quite a few years but there is no hard and fast rule.  You can check the zero weight setting by the 'hammer on the silo' method when it is nearly empty, estimating the weight from the level and chacking against the reading.  When a delivery comes in, check the weight gain against the weigh tickets from the incoming trucks.  These things are easy and give you peace of mind.

Check your calibration as trucks make deliveries.

Can I use SiloWeigh on a skirted tank or silo? It's no more difficult than a legged vessel.  You will have to calculate the loading by dividing the total weight of contents by the cross sectional area of the skirt (take the circumference and multiply by the wall thickness). If the result is greater than 1500 lb per square inch, no problem.  Do not expect the stability of a leg installation, however.  You can download our Stress Calculator to verify the stress in any type of skirt or leg.

Similar to a leg installation, but slightly less accuracy.