Blockage detected – danger averted!

In order to ensure a continuous flow of recycled material to the melting furnace, blockages must be detected. The Solimotion FTR20 bulk solids motion detector is the perfect candidate to be put in charge of monitoring.

More than a third of copper production at Aurubis, the world’s largest recycler of copper, is achieved as a result of processing debris containing copper and precious metal such as dross, slag and dust as well as PCBs, electronic scrap, used catalytic converters and materials from the waste industry. The recycling materials are first checked for consistency and chemical composition and then comminuted. The raw material is then fed into a bath smelting furnace via an enclosed conveyor belt. The material can get jammed here, which could lead to a blockage – but not when the Solimotion FTR20 bulk solids motion detector is on guard.


This non-contact device based on microwave technology works with an operating frequency of 24GHz and a transmission power below 100mW. For detection of the bulk solids movements, microwaves are transmitted and then reflected by the material. The Solimotion measures the strength of the reflected, frequency-shifted energy (Doppler Effect) and creates from it a display value, which is indicated via LED bars. The FTR20 operates like a binary switch, i.e. it detects two states: material movement and no material movement. The optional analog 4-20mA output signal also allows continuous detection of changes in the mass flow. With an unobstructed beam path, the range of the Solimotion is up to 20m, dependent also on the reflection characteristics of the particular bulk solids.

At the push of a button
Initial commissioning can be performed quickly and easily due to the automatic alignment function and just one push of a button. The manual alignment option of the FTR20 also enables individual adjustment to the application with the help of customisable functions. In addition to an adjustable hysteresis, a switching delay and attenuation, the detection range or the gain can be adjusted so that even bulk solids with very low relative permittivity (dielectric constant, such as expanded polystyrene, can be detected reliably. The configuration is stored internally and is maintained even if the supply voltage is interrupted. When in operation, no further input is necessary. To check, a PLC may be situated downstream or a data logger is available, the FTR20 provides the option of simulating an output signal.

The Solimotion FTR20 is ideal for the continuous monitoring of pneumatic and mechanical bulk solid transportation processes. The compact device can be used wherever cost-effective monitoring of bulk solids movements (flow/no flow) and changes to the flow behaviour is required, e.g. in metering systems, silos, above conveyor belts, before strainers and filters, after discharge and at bucket conveyors.

For further details contact Jan Gerritsen of Endress+Hauser on TEL: 011 262 8000 or visit