APM 3D Scanner for Surface Level Measurement

Nowadays, measuring the level of tanks or vessels in industrial settings has become much easier with a wide range of level measurement devices available, utilizing various principles such as radar, ultrasonic, hydrostatic, etc. However, when it comes to measuring the level in silos, tanks containing bulk solids with high material stacking, using single-point measurement methods may not accurately reflect the level of material inside the silo or tank, nor accurately estimate the remaining volume of material.

Figure 1: Level measurement with 3D Scanner APM gives more accurate results than methods on the market today.

With multi-point measurement function, APM 3D Scanner provides a solution to customers by collecting data from 60 different points with just one measuring device. This is equivalent to the customer having to install 60 single-point measuring devices at present.

Figure 2: APM Level 3D Scanner

What is the 3D Scanner device?

The 3D Level Scanner is a continuous level measurement device that utilizes acoustic technology to measure multiple points on the material's surface. It provides non-contact, continuous measurement for calculating inventory volume and also takes into account the unevenness of the material. This advanced technology has proven to be effective for powders and bulk solids contained in bins, silos, domes, warehouses, and other storage facilities. The unique 3D mapping capabilities of the scanner provide a visual representation of the material's volume, allowing for a comprehensive view of the contents in silos, warehouses, and other storage areas.

Figure 3: APM Level 3D Scanner

The 3D Level Scanner utilizes an array of 3 antennas to transmit low-frequency pulses and receive echoes from the material contained in silos, containers, or other storage systems. By using 3 antennas, the device not only measures the time/distance of each echo but also determines its direction within a beam angle ranging from 30 to 70 degrees. The digital signal processor of the device samples and analyzes the received signals to provide highly accurate measurements of the maximum level, minimum level, average level, volume, and mass of the stored material. It also generates a real-time 3D representation/profile of the contents within the container for display on a remote computer screen. The unique acoustic-based technology, coupled with the specially designed material and resonance principles, endows the device with a self-cleaning abilit


Why we should use 3D Level Scanner?

Solid/powder materials stored in silos pose three challenges for level measurement:

  1. Inhomogeneous nature: Solid and powder materials often have an inhomogeneous structure, with gaps, local agglomerations, or uneven regions. This makes level measurement challenging and requires a measurement technology that is accurate and flexible.

  2. Issues with deposition and buildup: Solid and powder materials can deposit and accumulate on the walls of the silo or container, causing bridging and unevenness in the level measurement. This requires a solution that can detect and accurately assess the buildup and its impact on the measurement.

  3. Harsh environment: In industrial applications, solid and powder materials are often stored in harsh environments such as high temperatures, pressures, dust, moisture, and vibrations. A level measurement device needs to be able to withstand these conditions without compromising its measurement performance.

At the same time, conventional technologies like Radar, Ultrasonic, and Laser encounter issues when working in dusty environments, and even when equipped with air connections, Radar can still pose maintenance challenges. Furthermore, Radar, Ultrasonic, and Laser are single-point beam technologies and therefore do not address the problem of uneven profiles. The 3D Level Scanner, operating on the principle of low-frequency acoustic, offers three main advantages:

  • Wide beam angle: The 3D Level Scanner utilizes a beam angle of 70 degrees, covering the entire surface area of the silo or container. This allows it to provide accurate level, volume, and 3D profile measurements, even in the presence of uneven surfaces.
  • Dust resistance: With its low-frequency and high-wavelength characteristics, the 3D Level Scanner effectively penetrates dust, making it suitable for dusty environments. It eliminates the need for additional air purging and cleaning.
  • Self-cleaning ability: The 3D Level Scanner is designed with a self-cleaning mechanism, reducing the need for manual maintenance and air purging. This ensures reliable and continuous operation even in challenging conditions.

Figure 4: Basic connectivity diagram of a 3D level measurement system

Types of 3D scanners:

          S Accurate level, volume and mass measurement with LCD display.

          M - Accurate level, maximum, minimum, volume and mass measurements along with points positioned on the surface

          MV - Accurate level, maximum, minimum, volume and volume measurements along with real-time 3D graphs of the contents stored in the silo/bunker.

          MVL - 2 Utilizing multiple synchronized scanners allows for precise level measurement, including maximum and minimum levels, as well as accurate volume and mass calculations. The synchronized scanners work in harmony to provide comprehensive data for large silos, bunkers, and warehouses

         VOLCAN Accurate level, maximum, minimum, volume measurements with real-time 3D histograms specially designed for extreme conditions and the geometry of ESP (Electrostatic Precipitator) pits

Figure 5: All parameters are displayed in real-time in 3D format

Below is a table comparing that device 3D Scanner with Radar and Ultrasonic technology:

Features 3D Scanner Non-contact Radar Ultrasonic
Number of antennas 3 transreceivers 1 transreceiver 1 transreceiver
Scan diameter Complete Point level Point level
Angle of radiation 30-70 deg 4-6 deg 4-8 deg
Multi-point scanning : Yes No No
Measurement error 0,02% 10-15% 10-15%
Accurate volume : Yes No No
Silo shape (for volume) Any shape Suitable for cylindrical shapes only Suitable for cylindrical shapes only
Mass : Yes No No
Display 3D surface : Yes No No
Volume error Below 3% of the total - -
Reliable with wide silo : Yes No No
Operates in warehouse, open bin : Yes No No
Non-contact continuous measurement : Yes : Yes : Yes
Wide measuring range : Yes : Yes : Yes
Affected by dust No Dust does not affect No
Nitrogen purging requirement No : Yes No
Operates with all solid materials, including low conductivity media : Yes No : Yes
Display material accumulation on the wall : Yes No No
Self-cleaning capability : Yes No No

From the advantages, it can be seen that the 3D Scanner level measurement solution from APM is a comprehensive measuring solution, helping to simulate the surface of the material, calculate the remaining volume in the silo, tank to help users control the parameters. parameters for production. Save product management costs, increase the reliability of the management and production systems of factories and enterprises.


Most of the storage systems below can utilize a 3D Level Scanner to measure the level and volume of material inside:

  • Coal bunker.
  • Fly ash Silo.
  • Cement Silo.
  • Silo clinker.
  • Iron ore Bin.
  • Pellet Silo.
  • Silo chứa hóa chất hàng loạt.
  • Other silos store bulk solid and powder commodities.

The 3D Level Scanner has the capability to measure levels and volumes in these applications, while also providing a 3D profile of the material inside. This feature assists in efficiently managing and controlling inventory.

Thien Tan is an existing partner and exclusive distributor of APM in Vietnam We provide 3D scanner solutions to customers nationwide. For more information about our products, please feel free to contact us for further details.

For more information please contact us:


🏠 Headquarters: 1685/37 Le Van Luong, Hamlet 3, Nhon Duc Commune, Nha Be District, Ho Chi Minh City

🏠 Representative office address: DP12, Dragon Parc Villa, Phu Long Residential Area, Nguyen Huu Tho Street, Phuoc Kien Commune, Nha Be District, HCMC

📞 Phone: 028 3636 7192     📠 FAX: 028 3636 7092

🏘 Hotline: 0985 715 585

📧 Email: info@thientanetc.com