A 3D level scanner is, unsurprisingly, a 3D scanner applied to solid level measurement. There’s an ongoing discussion about whether the solution is too much effort for level measurement. The prevailing view, though, is that a 3D level scanner brings a lot of benefits in solid level measurement.

emerson 3d level scanner
Courtesy of Emerson Automation Solutions

3D level scanner working principle

A 3D level scanner uses low-level pulses to map the exact, three-dimensional shape of the contents of a tank or other container. This measurement principle can provide very accurate level measurement in almost any case. The unique selling point of the 3D level scanner is that it also provides three-dimensional measurements.

3D level scanner vs radar level scanner

Radar level scanners are cheaper and therefore more common. However, since the 3D level scanner will also provide three-dimensional measurements, it is worth the extra cost if you are also interested in this information.

The 3D level scanner provides you with a better overview of the level and an easy way to calculate the volume of the product. The build-up in the wall of the tank can be a problem for radar level scanners and even cause accidents. With the 3D level scanner, you can see how the product is stored and if you have build-up in your tank.

The level of investment is also different: the 3D level scanner requires software and more engineering to give you all the benefits of the technology. You can implement the information into the control system, but the 3D software is the real key here and that part can be a pretty big investment for you.

3D level scanner and radar level scanner applications

If you don’t need the extra information and accuracy provided by the 3D level scanner, you are probably better off with a radar level scanner. However, if you are measuring solids, which take up different shapes in the tank, or if you are worried about buildup, a 3D level scanner is probably worth the extra investment.

Other resources that might interest you

Level transmitter malfunction
We have the Endress+Hauser Levelflex FMP51 installed on a diesel tank for level measurement, but its output is not changing proportionally to the tank level. In the control room, we simulated different currents from the transmitter function menu and the transmitter responded fine. What do we need to fix?

DP transmitter level calculation
What information do I need to select the pressure cell for a differential pressure transmitter to do level measurement?

Radar level measurement
Could you please explain how radar works to measure level?

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