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Unread November 6th, 2019, 02:59 PM   #1
electro89
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Sensor to verify hose connection

I have an application where 2 hoses will be connected to a railcar for pneumatically transporting material into a building. Is there a device available that can confirm each hose is connected to the railcar, preferably with a 120V signal to send back to our PLC? This will be outside and the only source of power will be from the building, so nothing on the railcar.
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Unread November 6th, 2019, 04:18 PM   #2
Aabeck
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How about a proxy sensor mounted on the coupling that senses the car itself? Otherwise one on the coupler that senses the clamp fully in the locked position?

If you could post a photo of a coupled hose to a railcar we might be able to collectively come up with other solutions.
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Unread November 7th, 2019, 06:17 AM   #3
parky
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We have done this many times for example RJT/Dairy & other types of connector. We would have the sensors mounted on the fixed inlet connector with a Flag (usually a ring around the flex connector) made out of stainless, so when the pipes are connected it allowed the pumps to start. There are plenty of proximity sensors out there either 110v or 24v & relay outputs etc.
I do suggest a sensor with a sensing distance of at least 10mm to allow a detection on parts that may get a little hammer over time.
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Unread November 7th, 2019, 02:35 PM   #4
electro89
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Thanks for the responses guys.

Aabeck, a prox sensor on the end of the hose may not be able to see the railcar and we would need a target mounted to the fixed inlet, as parky mentioned. I can provide a picture once it's setup.

The prox switch is a great idea but I should have mentioned that this hose will not be permanently attached to the building and may be removed periodically. There are 2 fixed connections on the building and 2 on the railcar, and a hose for each side to connect the building connections to the railcar connections.

The prox could be a viable solution, but I think we would need a connector for the sensor cable at the building that the operator or maintenance can detach when they need to service the hose, and already I question the longevity of that setup.

Both hoses need to be connected at the same time to start the system, so if we were able to sense a complete circuit between the "out" hose and the "in" hose, essentially using the railcar as a conductor, that would be ideal. There is electrical continuity between the hose ends. I feel this could be done, but not sure how to go about it safely.
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Unread November 7th, 2019, 02:43 PM   #5
electro89
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Going back to the prox idea, is there a way to properly secure the cable to the hose?
What form factor of the sensor would you recommend? We typically go with IFM sensors if we can help it but open to others. Maybe something like this? https://www.ifm.com/ca/en/product/IQ2000
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Unread November 7th, 2019, 03:36 PM   #6
Aabeck
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For a proxy any form factor, but I would stick with a stainless steel housing, and no protruding plastic tip if cylindrical.

For another way - mount probes to the hose ends that ground into the railcar body and a plate on the building. Then sense the ground from the railcar on a 24VDC relay with +24V fed to the other coil side. When both ends of the hose are connected the car will ground out one end and the building end will be wired to the relay. If the building plate is mounted at the same distance from the coupler as the railcar body the hose could be swapped around without problem and not have to mark Building End & Railcar End.
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Unread November 8th, 2019, 01:13 PM   #7
electro89
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Someone suggested using something like a frequency transmitter/receiver to sense the closed circuit. Anyone know of an industrial-grade sensor that would accomplish this? I like the idea of the closed circuit, nice and simple, just want to avoid someone crossing the wires in the future and possibly livening up the railcar and hose
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Unread November 8th, 2019, 03:41 PM   #8
tarik1978
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RFID Monitors Hose Connections:
https://www.turck.de/en/identificati...tions-8175.php
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