When it comes to level measurement, instrumentation with a brightly colored, reflective flag systems are easy to see from a distance and in dark spaces. Better visibility keeps operators safe and processes running efficiently.
Operator and process safety are top concerns at every industrial plant, and manufacturers are continually looking for ways to provide a safer environment and ensure safe operation. One way to do that is to increase the readability and visibility of detection and measuring instruments. For example, paint that changes color when it is in contact with acid can alert plant workers of the presence of dangerous hydrofluoric or sulfuric acid leak in the alkylation units at petrochemical refineries.
Here are some other situations where better visibility can improve safety:
- Chemical and petrochemical plants that work with hazardous products (hydrofluoric acid, sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide, ethaline chloride, etc.) and that need to keep operators far away in order to minimize potential exposure to harmful compounds.
- Columns and tanks with high process connections that require operators to climb ladders or cross high catwalks to read measurements.
- Industrial plants with indoor processing, dark corners, and other areas that are poorly lit or in shadows behind equipment.
- Plants that have limited personnel and need to view either via video feed or directly from control room
- Night shifts
- Power outages, heavy smoke, and other emergencies that affect the amount of available light.
Increasing Visibility in Level Measurements
The market offers various options to improve the visibility of level measuring instrumentation when conditions are not optimal (dim lighting, long distance from the operator, etc.) and cannot be modified. The most common methods include using:
- Wider viewing angles
- Florescent paints
- Larger flag designs
- Flag systems that flip an indicator from a plain matte side to a brightly painted reflective side as the float of the level instrumentation moves inside the level chamber (see this GIF).
Flag Systems with WIKA’s InSight™
WIKA’s flag systems provide accurate level measurements that are clearly visible to plant operators. These flags – actually rotating flippers with a distinct color and material on each of the two sides – offer a wide viewing angle and can be hermetically sealed. This system is unique in that WIKA is the only manufacturer to make flags and pivot points from 316 stainless steel, which prevents hang-ups due to corrosion. To ensure better visibility, one side of the flags can be coated with WIKA’s InSight™ reflective material. These retro-reflective flags are highly visible from a distance and in dim conditions. InSight™ comes in florescent yellow, fluorescent orange, and white.