As someone in a purchasing role within the commercial vehicle or agricultural industry you’ve probably been faced with the challenge of reaching out to a supplier to purchase either several hundred or thousands of units to either replace an existing level sending unit or for a new line vehicles set to be launched relatively soon. With so many options and features readily available on the market it can be rather daunting to make a decision that ultimately will impact your company along with your workers who will then be using the equipment’s.

Here we breakdown in detail the benefits of opting for a multi-function level sender over a standard level sender so that you, the purchaser, can make an the most accurate and calculated decision for you and your company.

Features

The main difference between a multi-function level sender and a standard level sender is that a standard level sender only measures the liquid level inside the tank while a multi-function sender not only reads the liquid level inside the tank but also has the ability to be fully customizable to include a suction and return tube, an air vent pipe, and a filter. The pipe diameter sizes, suction, return, air vent fittings, and mounting styles are available in many options.

Centralization

By keeping everything centralized you will not need a separate fitting on the top of the tank for the suction and return tubes. Not only is this inherently cheaper, but also lessens the chance of possible leakage points and thus repairs and costs associated with those repairs.

Based on the tank sender location, the pipes located on the top and bottom can by orientated to face almost any direction you may need to maximize fuel flow and ensure the suction and return tube orientation inside the tank does not interfere with the sides of the tank or baffles.

Like a standard unit you can also include a switch inside the sender which, when connected to a buzzer or LED light, can indicate an audible or visual warning letting you know your tank is becoming too low or starting to become full so you don’t accidentally experience overfill.

Semi Truck Hauling Across the Golden Gate Bridge

Depending on your output needs you can have the sender calibrated with almost any resistance reading, voltage, or milliamp output. For those that have an odd shaped tank, you can request the sender to be calibrated to the shape of the tank so the sending unit output reads correctly at the empty, quarter, half, three quarter, and full mark.

Associated Cost

Semi Truck Waiting to Receive a Shipment

The benefits of a multi-function level sender go far beyond the initial customization and calibration. As a purchaser, the integrations the multi-function level sender has to offer lead to savings in labor and parts which make the unit substantially more desirable than a standard level sender. These savings are then passed along to the customer to create more of a price competitive product. 

Vertical Integration

When purchasing a multi-function level sender, typically the supplier will be working closely with a team of engineers in-house to ensure the multi-function level sender can immediately be integrated into the tank you are using. Therefore additional modifications to prepare the multi-function level sender for installation, such as drilling to accommodate extra or mismatched holes, won’t be necessary.

This removes the possibility of damaging the tank, the labor costs associated with having a skilled technician perform this procedure, and the down time that would be incurred when servicing the vehicle being operated on that would include the unit.

Suppliers that manufacture and perform modifications on multi-function level senders are usually integrated vertically, this means that the supplier also owns other parts of the process associated with the broader scope of the product.

If the supplier owns the testing and can produce other parts that would be used alongside the multi-function level sender, such as the manufacturing of the tank as it pertains to the blow molding process, the supplier can sell the multi-function level sender and tank assembly in an all in one package and have that level sender auto calibrated to an already preselected tank based on customer specifications. This option is desirable for first time multi-function level sender owners or those who are simply looking to upgrade or replace due to the age and functionality of the previous level sender.

Fittings

As a purchaser, another benefit of choosing a multi-function level sender over a standard level sender are the fittings used in installation. Fittings are referred to as the return and suction tube or air vent, they are used to transport the liquids out of the tank assembly. Standard level senders don’t have fittings included meaning they would need to be ordered separately and then integrated into the top of the tank manually.

The issue with fittings from a purchasers standpoint are that they can be viewed as a hidden cost as, depending on how familiar with level senders and additional components, purchasers may or may not take them into consideration when looking at the final cost of the product. This can lead to budget constraints when working with a supplier as they need to be taken into consideration before a standard level sender is purchased, opting for a multi-function level sender will save the purchaser time and money by not having to order fittings.

There’s also the stock of fittings that the purchaser would have to manager to ensure that there are enough fittings for installation of each standard level sender. Then those fittings would then have to be properly installed, depending on whether of not your company has a skilled technical available, this may incur additional installation costs.

Different Types of Multi-Function Level Senders

TN


The TN model sender is best for light duty trucks, construction machines, and yachts.

  • Widely used in on-road, off-road vehicles, generator sets, and applications
  • Utilizes reed switch and magnetic field technology
  • Advantage of reed switch type level sender over thick-film swing arm type level sender is the reed switch sender’s durability and reliability
  • Float is the only moving part of the sender, thereby minimizing potential mechanical failure
  • Integrated with fuel pick-up and return tubes for engine, and cabin heater
  • Integrated venting port to allow for pressure equalization between tank and atmosphere
  • Roll-over check valve

SAP


The SAP model sender is fully customizable but designed specifically to work in busses and trucks. The SAP model not only includes the suction and return for the fuel, but also a suction and return for the engine coolant which provides a heating system for your tank which is crucial in cold environments. The SAP model can provide the same output signal as the TN model but also can be set-up with a CAN-BUS signal output.

SPEH & SAH


For the extreme cold climates there is the SPEH and SAH sender model which applies positive temperature coefficient (PTC) heating or water heating with high heating efficiency, which can control the temperature automatically and safely. Combustion efficiency can be increased by 5%, thus reducing exhaust pollution at the same time.

KAB & SADR


The KAB & SADR model has a high resolution of 1mm and not only provides the suction and return for the fuel but also a suction and return from the engine heating system balancing the pressure of the tank and the atmosphere using a temperature alarm built into the sending unit. The signal output can be setup as resistance, voltage, CAN-BUS, single edge nibble transmission (SENT), RS-232, or RS-485.

How KUS Can Help Your Application Solutions

KUS can help you not only choose the applicable multi-function level sender, but also have it customized to meet your specific needs. KUS manufacturers and sells an inclusive all in one multi-function level sender and tank assembly package so you can benefit from the lower costs. KUS has a robust infrastructure and has the ability to not only produce but also actively test their components before they are sent out to their customers to be used. Contact KUS today to see firsthand the benefits of a multi-function level sender.

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