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Sick Bulkscan Is A Low Maintenance Alternative To Mechanical Belt Weighers

The Infra-red laser scanner improves volume measurement of construction materials on conveyor belts.

Bulkscan in application

Measuring the volume and mass throughput of bulk building materials on a conveyor belt has been made quicker and more accurate with the introduction of Sick's LMS511 Bulkscan laser scanner.

Operating indoors or outdoors under any weather or industrial conditions, the LMS Bulkscan can determine the volume and mass throughput of gravels, aggregates, hardcore, cement and other construction materials, providing a real-time measurement system for construction materials processing, storage and transportation that is almost maintenance free.

"Fixed above the conveyor, the Sick Bulkscan tracks a highly accurate and continuous
non-contact profile of the materials on a conveyor belt, with a data update in less than
15-millisecond increments
It will operate reliably in the presence of dust, rain or snow,
and in ambient temperatures ranging from -30°C to +50°C. The LMS Bulkscan represents
a low maintenance alternative to mechanical belt weighers as it is wear free and does not
require regular calibration. Further cost savings can be achieved as the unit identifies
off-centre or excessive loading of material on the belt which could cause premature wear
and line breakdown."

- explained Darren Pratt of Sick UK's Industrial Instrumentation Division.

Bulkscan in water

Using Sick's proven LMS infra-red laser scanning technology, the Bulkscan compares the material profile with the reference scan of the empty conveyor and the resulting cross-sectional area of material is computed. Using the measured speed of the belt and the material density value, the volume, mass and throughput of the materials can be quickly calculated. A highly accurate real-time mass flow or volume measurement can provide commercial advantages, for example, for revenue assessment, shipping weights or safe loading.

Your Benefits:

  • Maximises conveyor throughput
  • Reduces maintenance costs by preventing belt slippage when using the Bulkscan LMS511
  • Increases efficiency by optimising belt capacity
  • Simple installation
  • Low maintenance costs
  • Offers savings through minimised energy consumption
  • The wide ambient operating temperature range makes it suitable for outdoor use

Importantly, the use of a Class 1 laser means it is entirely safe for operatives without requiring safety enclosures. The Sick LMS511 Bulkscan is contained in a compact (155mm x 155mm x 159mm) IP67, weather-proof, vibration-resistant housing, with an in-built heater that switches on automatically when the temperature drops below 5°C.

Read; Bulkscan Optimises Brown Coal Extraction at RWE Power In Inden - Case Study  

Sick say the LMS511 Bulkscan is easy to install and set up in vertical alignment for highly accurate bulk-flow measurement using its pulsed time-of-flight laser measurement system with a 190° field of view.

Commissioning is also quick and easy using the free-of-charge SOPAS software which is used to configure many of Sick's latest products. A variety of interfaces are available for easy integration into the system architecture found on quarry plant, including six configurable digital outputs, two digital inputs, analogue inputs / outputs and Ethernet interfaces.


  • Monitoring the volume flow of raw materials in the food industry
  • Monitoring of transport systems for conveying coal or ore
  • Loading systems and packaging facilities
  • Measuring the ash produced in power stations
  • Measuring the volume and mass in gravel plants and other operations in the construction industry
  • Monitoring the volume of pieces of pneumatic in recycling tires plants
  • Measuring the volume and mass of clinker in cement plants

Direct Detection Of Volume Flow And Determining The Belt Speed

Environmental influences such as moisture affect the bulk material mass. If belt scales are used on their own, incorrect volume assumptions can lead to overloading or under-loading in downstream processes and to plant shutdowns. Direct volume detection with the Bulkscan prevents this. The Bulkscan can be combined with an encoder to obtain accurate measurement data for conveyor belts running at variable speeds. It delivers the current belt speed to the Bulkscan.

Looking for more information? We can help with that...

If you want to know more about the Sick Bulkscan, or have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch on 01254 685900 and our Internal Sales Advisors or Technical Support Engineers will be happy to chat!

Sick Bulkscan




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