Martens, part of the GHM Group of Companies, has introduced their MLC 437 Capacitive Level Switches for use principally for the registration of limit levels, full/empty signals in pipes and tanks in fluid, pasty and powdery media, and for the dry running protection of pumps.

Jan Grobler, Managing Director of GHM Messtechnik SA commented “The MLC 437 Capacitive Level Switch has an analogue output and a DK-value (Dielectric Constant), which will open up the door for applications requiring the measurement of differences between oil and water levels – a crucial element to maintaining consistency in the manufacture of products such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics including applications where hygienic areas are essential”.


The design of the switch makes it suitable for applications in the hygienic area and the chemical industry. Parts of the Martens MLC437 switch which comes into contact with the media consists only of materials which conform to FDA. With the aid of the microprocessor-controlled measurement, the user can adapt the parameter setting to the process environment using a PC.

“A unique feature of the MLC437 is that during operation, if an error or condition occurs, the display backlight can be set to change color. This is an easily identifiable alert for engineers to see the condition or to address the error” said Grobler.

During measuring operations, the LCDisplay shows measured values. According to parameterisation the backlight permanently operates or the device enters the power safe mode.

The Marten MLC437 Capacitive Level Switches register fluid, granular and pulverised media (not for use in areas subject to the risk of explosion). This charge transfer measurement procedure makes use of the storage capability of charges in the medium. The switch tip and the tank wall (or built-in adapter/sleeve) thereby forms an electrical condenser.

If the switch is in the air, a specific low initial capacity is measured. When the switch is immersed in the medium, the capacity change is based on a change in the effective permittivity in the area of the measuring tip. This value is determined by the geometry of the switch and the DK-value of the medium. The

measurement procedure enables the monitoring of the product and the detection of any separating layer, e.g. water/oil. Influences due to foam formation and adhesions are minor to non-existent.

Technical Features

The following details reflect the technical features of the MLC437:

Power supply:

  • Supply voltage: 18-30 V DC, max. 100 mA
  • Electrical connection: M12x1 plug
  • CE-conformity: EN 61326:2007-05
  • Ambient conditions
  • Ambient temperature: -20 to +60 °C
  • Climatic class: EN 60068-2-38:2010-06
  • Vibration class: EN 60068-2-6, GL test2

Certifications: EHEDG Certificate No.  28/2011


  • Radiated frequency: 40.68 MHz, <1 mW
  • Measuring range: DK-value 1.5 – 175
  • Initialization time: 3 seconds
  • Process temperature: -20 – +100 °C, 140 °C < 30 min
  • CIP-/SIP-capable
  • Process pressure: -1 – +10 bar
  • Process material: PEEK, FDA approval number 21CFR177.2415 – food-safe according to EHEDG

            and conforms to Regulation EC 1935/2004 and 10/2011

The MLC Capacitive Level Switch is easy to service and maintain.

Further information is available from: Jan Grobler, Managing Director, Messtechnik South Africa.      Tel: 011 902 0158 email:

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