Product Review: VEGACAL 63 capacitance level transmitter
Be careful, compadres. Don’t think that seeing a neat level device in an application similar to yours means it’ll work for you too. The right device depends on your process and budget requirements. Maybe that device won’t last as long for you or won’t provide you with the same accuracy. You don’t know yet!
I saw a discussion in a What’s App group about level devices for density applications. There, a sales guy was pushing his brand, totally blind to the facts. Kinda sad. Again, no single device fits all applications. The right device fits your wallet and your process, providing you the accuracy you need for a good long while. But you have to do your homework to find that device.
Today, VEGA has returned to Visaya with a new product! This crew has a ton of level devices, and on the website, you can compare the different technologies and models. We’ll check out the VEGACAL 63, a capacitance level transmitter! Let’s find out where you can use it and how!
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 VEGACAL 63 follows the same design of all VEGA products, with a compact housing and a wide list of housing materials, sensors, applications, and so on. Note that this version only applies to liquids. VEGA has clear lines drawn in its level measurement portfolio, but we’ll talk more about that later.
Check out the optional display! It’s compact but with a good display size and graphical data. It also has a backlight and four operation keys, so it makes for a good user experience! If you have the simple version, then you need to open the housing to use the display. But if you have a version with a magnetic pen, then you can use that without opening the housing.
The all-star here is the Bluetooth built into the display. With a smartphone or tablet, you can download the VEGA app and set up the device remotely, a great feature!
This device also has more than one protocol to integrate into your control system: HART, FOUNDATION Fieldbus, PROFIBUS PA, and of course, good old analog. It does use loop power but doesn’t have wireless. Wait wait! A quick peek at the accessories list fixes that and a couple other things. Well done, VEGA!
If your application has a harsh environment or hygiene requirements, then you have several options available – plastic PBT, aluminum, stainless steel 316L, and more. You can also get two different housing designs, single chamber or double chamber.
What can it do?
The VEGACAL 63 can measure level in conductive liquids from up to six meters away! If your process has solids, non-conductive liquids, or other conditions, then VEGA has other models to cover those.
The 63 has a fully insulated electrode rod as well. The manual says that a process with a dielectric value (DV) lower than five can use a partly insulated probe. A DV higher than five needs a fully insulated probe. The 63 provides!
You also have insulation options, such as PE and PTFE, and wetted material options like PTFE and 316L. You can see the lists for these in the manual. This capacitance level transmitter can operate in temperatures from -50 to 200 degrees Celsius and pressures from -1 to 64 bar. Last but not least, you can install the 63 with a threaded connection or flange.
Why should I care?
The VEGACAL 63 has lots of approvals, intrinsic safety (Ex ia), and a protective housing (ST Ex). It also comes in IP66, IP67, IP68, or SIL2. You can use it with many products and applications, as long as you check the vendor requirements. You can read this #WishIknew for more on that.
All VEGA transmitters have fancy features, like remote access built into the optional display so you can fit it on most devices. You can use the VEGA app to access the configuration remotely. In general, the app provides a decent user experience, but it’s not fast because neither is Bluetooth. The new Bluetooth 5.0 promises to improve speed, range, and more. You can read about it here.
On the plus side, the 63 can work with foam or pneumatic filling! However, you need to avoid agitators or changing media, and you can’t get adjustment without filling, either.
The VEGACAL 63 has a good list of features and possibilities! On the website, you can compare the models to see the differences among them. Better still, VEGA has an online tool to help you to scale out devices.