Comparison: VEGAPULS 62 vs OPTIWAVE 7300 C
Hey, hey, fight fans! Here we are again, comparing two relevant products on the market. Maybe you don’t know exactly why we do product reviews and comparisons here at Visaya Solutions. I invite you to read this article explaining our take on it.
In my recent visit to Hannover Messe 2017, I didn’t see much innovation related to level measurement. Sure, you could find one or two new products with fancy features, but nothing mind-blowing on the level market.
And that’s odd, because you have huge players here, real experts in the principle, who offer complete-package solutions for level measurement. Anyway, nowadays you have different ways to do level measurement, so you can find the best device to fit your application.
Of course, some users still have a conservative mindset. “Don’t need no newfangled radar thingies. My daddy used differential pressure transmitters for 20 years, and so will I!” On the other hand, I understand that some companies risk a lot in changing the principle and need to follow internal procedure to certify the technology and vendor. Yep, not just the device, the seller too.
Okay, let’s park the philosophy and get on with the show! Say hello to the devices going head to head this week! On the left, we have the VEGA crew bringing the VEGAPULS 62 to the ring. On the right, KROHNE has the OPTIWAVE 7300 C. The names already sound intimidating, but let’s see the features.
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Here comes our old but gold deal – Take a seat, grab a Bud, have a read, and draw your conclusions!
Disclaimer: This product review examines only features, not performance. If you’ve used this device, feel free to share your experience in the comments.
The VEGAPULS 62 looks like all the other VEGA products, which is good, right? I particularly like the color and the design. The writeups call the VEGAPULS 62 the “universal genius,” ooh! We’ll find out if it’s true, but I have good feelings about it.
The device brings a wide range of possibilities with different antenna diameters, materials, beam angles, and all that stuff. Why do we care about those things? Because when you scale it out, you can probably fit it into your process with the right option combo!
On the KROHNE side, you’ll find a more conservative attitude. The head of the transmitter looks a little different than other radars, but we’ll call that a mark of personality.
The 7300 C also has a multitude of options to fit as many applications as possible. It works not only in liquids, but also in pastes and slurries. Furthermore, it has the measurement range, beam range, and other radar bits and bobs for most applications.
If you like displays, then you need to pay attention here. Today everyone talks about digitalization and connectivity, but most vendors still sing the local configuration song. Am I crazy? Don’t answer that. Instead, let’s dig into the display options.
VEGA has an interesting approach to displays. The module called PLICSCOM can integrate into most of the VEGA portfolio. It has built-in fancy features like Bluetooth, but we’ll tackle that later.
On the display you can get your process data in various units and in bar graphs. The push buttons and navigation provide a smooth user experience, so you won’t need the manual to guide you through the options.
KROHNE’s device has an LCD display and local button keypad, allowing you to set up in the field. The navigation gives you a smooth learning process that you can follow without a step-by-step guide.
You also have the graphics to interpret your process data and facilitate analysis. You don’t need a handheld at all, but if you want to set up the device locally, you may have a bunch of steps to clear.
Distance and beam angle
The VEGAPULS 62 aims to support most applications with its measurement range of up to 35 meters. If you need more than that, then you can tack on options that’ll help, so VEGA has you covered.
Now, depending on the antenna diameter, you have a maximum measurement range and different beam angles. The manual makes figuring this part out pretty clear. For example, if you have a 48 millimeter (mm) antenna, you get a max range of 15 meters and a beam angle of 18 degrees.
Of course scaling out the device for your application will require more information than just distance. Tank location, process conditions, and more will factor into your calculations. If your process has a turbulent or agitated liquid or many objects in the tank, you’ll need to install the radar in a surge pipe. Regardless, the accuracy here is +-2 mm. Not bad!
KROHNE has different antennas and beam angles too. However, the manual here doesn’t present the information as clearly as the VEGA manual. Still, it has graphics, and depending on your dielectric constant and other requirements, you can find the distance.
Fortunately, the beam angle is clearer than the distance information. For example, the DN40 horn offers a beam angle of 20 degrees. If I decide to use the DN150 sheet metal horn, I get a beam angle of 6 degrees. The device has an accuracy of +-3 mm, which sounds good too.
Process connection, material, and protocol
Both devices offer different process connections for your application. The VEGAPULS 62 has threaded and flange connections and various wetted materials like 316L, Alloy C22, and tantalum. You’ll find the right material to fit your process for the long term.
It also makes integration fairly simple with protocols like Foundation Fieldbus (FF), HART, and PROFIBUS PA. You can even integrate the transmitter through the Modbus. Wow.
The 7300 C also offers different ways to connect your device and different wetted parts to guarantee chemical compatibility and even hygienic standards, if you need that. It has two analog outputs and HART, FF, and PROFIBUS PA protocols. Not bad at all.
Information and documentation
VEGA obviously invests plenty in marketing, because the company has a good microsite for radar and level measurement, with clear navigation and good mobile access. You can use your smartphone to navigate the site without zooming in and out all the time.
The KROHNE website still looks kinda traditional, but at least it’s easy to navigate and find information. For level measurement, it has a table that summarizes all relevant data about the products, so you can find the best device for you.
Sadly, if you want to access it from your phone, then you have a lot of zooming ahead of you. Hope someone gets on that, because mobile access helps provide a good user experience.
On the VEGA side, we have Bluetooth. Need I say more? I will, anyway. You can easily set up the device using a smartphone app, which means you don’t need a handheld or a visit to the tank. The app tells you everything you need to know, and you can analyze the signal conditions through echo curves and other functions.
KROHNE makes it easy to create filters to reduce signal interference, with clear step-by-step instructions for this advanced configuration. It also provides enough information to help you calculate the bottom of your tank if it’s curved or conical.
Both transmitters offer good features. KROHNE has better measurement range but lower accuracy. You can get more range from VEGA if you switch to another model, and you have the Bluetooth feature to help with daily maintenance.
Which one do you like best?
Here’s our table of comparison:
And if you want different options, then check these vendors and solutions: