Level Measurement for Sanitary and Hygienic Applications

Level Measurement for Sanitary and Hygienic Applications

Level sensors are essential in food, beverage and pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, ensuring efficient, safe, and continuous production. They are used to monitor storage tanks and silos, mixing tanks, fermentation tanks, processing vessels, hoppers, chemical totes, rinse water tanks and other containers. Application benefits of hygienic level measurement include:

Automation and Monitoring

Enable automation by providing real-time data for process control systems

Improved Efficiency

Ensure continuous production by maintaining optimal levels of ingredients and products, reducing downtime

Cost Savings

Optimize processes and reduce waste by preventing overfilling and underfilling

Quality Control

Maintain consistent product quality by ensuring precise ingredient measurements and processing conditions

Enhanced Safety

Prevent overflows and running dry, reducing the risk of accidents and equipment damage

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Sanitary Level Measurement for Food Manufacturer, hygienic level measurement

Product Selection

Choosing the right level sensor for your application is essential and enables manufacturers to benefit most from their investment. Key points to consider when selecting a sensor are:

  • Measurement Type: Is real-time continuous monitoring required for process control, or is a simple point-level threshold alarm sufficient?
  • Accuracy: Is a high level of accuracy/precision needed for process control?
  • Media Properties: Is the media liquid or solid? Does your process have foam, steam, condensation, vapour, or dust that may affect the sensor measurement? Does the media density or dielectric constant affect measurement?
  • Non-contact vs. Contact: Does the sensor require contact with the media? 
  • Maintenance: Does the sensor require regular cleaning, sanitization, and calibration? How much time is needed to maintain it?
  • Process Compatibility: Do the sensor specifications match the process temperature and pressure?
  • Material Compatibility: Are the materials compliant with food or pharmaceutical safety standards?
  • CIP Compatibility: Does the process include clean-in-place (CIP)? Is the sensor compatible with the CIP process, or does it need to be removed?
hygienic level measurement

Technology Comparison

Various technologies such as radar, ultrasonic, capacitance, hydrostatic and conductive offer level sensors specifically designed for sanitary and hygienic processes. Non-contact sensors are generally more hygienic and have many advantages for food, beverage and pharmaceutical applications. Here are the key differences between ABM’s non-contact level sensors and other technologies using contact methods:

ABM Non-Contact Technologies

Contact Technologies


Non-contact through air measurement

Probe or rod in contact with media for measurement


No cleaning required

Regular cleaning / sanitation is needed to prevent build-up on probe or rod


Initial calibration sufficient

Recalibration due to build-up, change in density or dielectric constant may be required

Contamination Risk

None, no contact with media

Contamination risk from build-up on probe or rod

CIP Compatible

Suitable for CIP environments

Removal from process during CIP may be required



Cleaning, sanitization and re-calibration

Radar or Ultrasonic?

ABM offers radar and ultrasonic level sensors for sanitary applications. The sensors can be easily integrated with PLCs and SCADA systems to enable automated control, data logging, and real-time monitoring.

Sanitary Non-Contact Ultrasonic Level Sensor

Sanitary Non-Contact Radar Level Sensor


Uses sound waves to measure distance to the media surface

Uses microwave pulses to measure distance to the media surface


Bulk solids, slurries or liquids without foam or vapour

Bulk solids, slurries or liquids (no foam or vapour influence)

Enclosure Material

SS316L, PVC or Aluminum

SS316L or Aluminum


SS316L (exceeds No.4/dairy finish)

Food Grade Teflon

Process Connection

1.5” or 2” tri-clamp

2”  tri-clamp

Process Temperature

-40°C to 130°C (-40 to 266°F)

-40°C to 204°C (-40°F to 400°F)

 Maximum Pressure

5 bar (72.5 PSI)

2 bar (29 PSI)

CIP Compatible

Yes (30 minutes max.)



4-20 mA, RS232, RS485, Modbus RTU, HART, and remote monitoring via cellular network

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