Orion instruments magnetic level indicators case study
Substantial glass gauge maintenance costs eliminated by Orion Magnetic Level Indicators
Industry: Power Generation
Products: Atlas and Aurora MLIs
Application: Heaters, Condensers
If you look at level control from an acquisitioncost perspective only, glass gauges, or "sight glasses,” can be
extremely appealing. Their use in the power and process industries is widespread, but for many installations that
comes at a cost. It’s no secret that sight glasses can be a maintenance nightmare.
A power plant in Southeast Asia agrees with this sentiment. They’ve just awakened from a 30year bad dream.
Since the 500MW gasfired peak load plant opened in 1981, glass gauges have provided level indication on high
and low pressure heaters and condensers. For almost 30 years, the plant’s maintenance staff has had to install
new glass kits with seals and gaskets every six months, totaling more than $30,000 USD in spare parts per year.
That’s almost $1,000,000 USD in parts over 30 years! Add to this the personnel and process downtime costs and
you’re left with a major maintenance migraine.
A glass gauge can also be unsafe, environmentally risky, and difficult to read. High pressures and temperatures,
and toxic or corrosive materials, may result in fugitive emissions. High temperatures can also attack the glass or
plastic tubes causing cracking and discoloration that impedes visibility. Liquidliquid interfaces and clear liquids can
also be very difficult to read with these gauges.
During an Orion Instruments® product presentation, MLIs drew the interest of plant engineers due to its safety,
increased level visibility, and maintenancefree features. However, the adviser who had been working in the plant
since Day One was skeptical about this unfamiliar technology. We assured them MLIs have been around for many
years and have accrued countless success stories in power plants worldwide. Our references and installation
pictures were supplied as proof of our MLI’s credibility, which immediately boosted our customer’s confidence in
the product. A few months later they decided to purchase five ATLAS™ MLIs. The end user was so satisfied with
their performance upon installation they purchased six AURORA® units by the end of the year with their remaining
If you are currently relying on sight glasses for visual indication, take a moment to consider how a Magnetic Level
Indicator can provide you with improved visibility, increased safety, and a drasticallyreduced maintenance bill.