A “So What” review of Siemens new SITRANS LUT400 ultrasonic level controller


Part of my job as the technical specialist at Lesman is to make sense of new products and upgrades, and figure out what’s really going to matter most to our customers.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of a much-needed new functionality, or better configuration tools, easier mounting, or switching to the most current form of data storage.

In the case of Siemens’ latest ultrasonic controller, it’s all that and more.

Siemens SITRANS LUT400 Ultrasonic Level ControllerSiemens (and Milltronics) ultrasonic controllers and transceivers, like the HydroRanger, MultiRanger, and OCM-III have been around for years with no significant improvements. Instead of updating these devices, Siemens has done a complete redesign, and introduces the SITRANS LUT400 as the first device in the new ultrasonic controller family.

Here are my initial thoughts on this new player in the ultrasonic game.

The pros:

  1. Three LUT400 models available: One for level, one for pump control, and one for open channel flow monitoring (replacing the old Milltronics OCM-III)
  2. No more handheld programmer or 1970s-era “Pxxx” parameters to decode during configuration and programming updates. There are quick-start wizards for configuration, and Engish-named settings. Not a P-code in sight! There’s also HART communications for configuration and monitoring through SIMATIC PDM.
  3. USB connection and a built-in web server for setup, maintenance, diagnostics, communication, and security
  4. Completely redesigned box! It’s a standard 1/2 DIN size, out-of-the-box ready for DIN-, wall-, and pipe-mounting. There are conduit knockouts built in, so you don’t have to drill the case, and snap-off, snap-on terminal wiring connectors, so you don’t have to contort yourself into a small space to do your wiring. They even included quarter-turn door screws for easy access. If you want to panel-mount the LUT400, you can. There’s a remote display that connects via cable to the electronics box.
  5. Improved signal-to-noise and echo processing algorithms (Siemens calls it Sonic Intelligence) for accuracy and performance. Still compatible with the current Echomax ultrasonic transducers, so if you’re upgrading, you only upgrade the transceiver/controller. You can use your existing sensors.
  6. New LCD display gives you more information. Includes not just numeric values, but an echo profile and trend view on the screen, so it’s better for all the visual folks.
  7. It features a universal 4-20 mA analog output that helps eliminate ground loop errors.

The cons:

  1. It’s a single channel device, so it can only handle one transducer. You can’t do differential level with this unit. But, it is the first one Siemens has released. I’m confident the multi-channel units will follow.
  2. Other than HART, no digital communication. The LUT400 doesn’t do Modbus, Profibus, or Remote I/O. Again, I’m sure this will be coming, in time.
  3. It only has three relays, so if you need more for pump control, you’ll have to use a different device.

If your application requires any of these features, you’ll need to stick with a Siemens HydroRanger or MultiRanger 200. They’re still the best solution for these requirements.

See it to believe it! For customers within Lesman’s authorized territory for Siemens products, I’ll have a demo LUT400 unit to show, beginning November 1. Tell me your biggest ultrasonic headache, and I’ll bring one out for you to see in person.

If you’re outside Lesman’s territory, use this Rep Locator (left column under the map) to find the nearest authorized Siemens representative, or call 800-365-8766, and they’ll direct you to your local rep.

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Lesman Instrument Company is the authorized Siemens representative in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Paducah KY, Wisconsin, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. If you are located outside that area, you can find your local sales office or get technical assistance by calling 800-365-8766.

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