Product Review: SITRANS LR200
Yes, yes, we’ll get to the SITRANS LR200 in a second, but let’s level with each other here. Do you love level things like I do? Because I go back and forth on them, and some people find that weird.
Yesterday, I had a good chat with my intern Raphael about radar level transmitters. As I explained the concepts and the challenges, a lot of old memories resurfaced. Here I’ll say that I don’t love level stuff, because most of the problems I encountered in the past had to do with level applications, specifically radar devices.
However, as I told him, the technology can be the best thing in your process or the worst! I found many customers who never truly understood their radar devices, so when a problem showed up, they didn’t know how to solve it. Knowledge is the key, right? It helps to learn about the level and radar concepts like time of flight to know how to handle your devices.
Okay, on to the review! Please welcome the SITRANS LR200 from Siemens, a well-known name in our industry! Time to dig into the features of this level transmitter, so you already know what I’m gonna say, right?
Take a seat, grab a Fanta, 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.
Whatcha got there?
The sales reps for the SITRANS LR200 like to call it a flexible level transmitter, saying you can use it in storage tanks, tanks with agitators, tanks with vapor, and more. For this review, we’ll stick to the free space version and skip the waveguide extension.
Before we go through the features, I have to say that the documentation from Siemens is far from user-friendly. Go look, then feel free to thank me in the comments for translating.
Anyway, it runs on loop power, with the same pair of cables bringing power as well as communication with the control system. It uses a 6-gigahertz frequency and has a maximum measurement range of 20 meters. You need to pay attention with the minimum dielectric constant of your product, too. If you have a value below 3, then you’ll need a guided wave radar or still-pipe.
It has a local display that shows you process data and graphics for the echo profile and such. However, if you want to set up locally, you use a handheld that looks like a TV remote! Too old school! Bluetooth just wants to help, y’all. You can check it out in this article to see the possibilities.
What can it do?
Through the miracle of engineering, the SITRANS LR200 can measure the level in your tank for you! Neat, huh? Yeah, one of these days I’ll let this joke go. Today is not that day.
As you know, several factors can interfere with the signal, like beam angle. For example, if you get the 4-inch antenna, then the beam angle will be 29 degrees. However, the 8-inch antenna will change the beam angle to 17 degrees. All the antennas for this model offer the same max range.
Don’t forget to factor in temperature and pressure. This device supports processes with temperatures from -40 to 200 degrees Celsius and pressures of up to 40 bar g.
You’ll need to consider the material of the housing, antenna, process connection, and gasket as well. If you have a harsh environment inside or outside your tank, then checking the manual and scaling out the device will help you find the materials you need for your application.
Why should I care?
Siemens has a roomy corner in the market, so you should at least eyeball this device before drawing your conclusions. For example, the SITRANS LR200 doesn’t offer much in the way of integration, with just analog, HART, and PROFIBUS PA. If you have one of those, then lucky you! Otherwise, keep looking!
The local configuration doesn’t offer the best user experience, either. I really don’t love the TV remote idea, but maybe for you it works fine. On the positive side, you can set up the transmitter using this thing, or analyze the echo curve and sniff out possible problems.
So take a good look, scale out, and compare this device with others on the market. Or wait until we post our comparison, then go from there!