Making roofing shingles is no easy task, and it can be messy, starting with the very first step in the process. Manufacturers begin with large rolls of fiberglass matte that are fed into a presaturation chamber. Inside, the fiberglass is coated with a hot asphalt mixture heated up to roughly 200˚C. Maintaining an accurate level in the coater pan holding the asphalt is essential to keeping the process running safely, avoiding running dry, and wasting uncoated fiberglass, or worse, overflowing and causing a work hazard in addition to wasting coating material.
Imagine you’re operating this presaturation chamber at a major roofing manufacturer. Your work area is no bigger than a standard cubicle, and your back is turned to the machine while you face the control panel. Getting a reliable level measurement from the coater pan in this presaturation chamber is difficult to say the least. Because of this, you’d experience occasional overflows of the dangerously hot, sticky asphalt just feet away from where you’re working. To add to it, entire sheets of fiberglass would go to waste when the asphalt tray ran dry.