The Customer

Established in 1973, Bio Mass Impianti Srl (BMI) specializes in designing, manufacturing, and deploying liquid level and flow measurement equipment consisting of a wide range of sensors and systems for locating water leaks, monitoring network parameters with integrated telemetry, and remote data management. BMI also supplies various stationary and portable noise loggers, data loggers, and pressure control systems to optimize water cycle and related infrastructure management.

The Challenge

BMI’s project was to create a powerful flowmeter, a PLC controller that would meet the demands of multiple applications in the water, environment, and hydrology sectors, where liquids flow through an open channel or partially filled pipes. The controller would need to support a range of sensor types and protocols, and also function as a datalogger, harvesting and recording application data. In addition, they wanted to provide their customer with an intuitive user interface via a high-quality graphic HMI touchpanel.

After conducting comprehensive product research, BMI selected Unitronics. The choice was based on Unitronics’ ability to meet all project requirements, while providing top-level technical support.

The Solution

Unitronics’ UniStream PLC + HMI integrated controllers provided the solution, able to act as a multifunction flowmeter, while UniLogic, the All-In-One programming environment enabled them to easily meet their project goals.

Complex calculations

  • Real-time data calculations: continuously relayed from radar and ultrasonic water level and velocity sensors to the UniStream controller, UniLogic’s powerful Formula utility enables BMI to create reusable formulas that continuously perform sophisticated trigonometric calculations with interpolation between points, integrating the sensor data to present and track the flowrate in the waterway.


Flowrate calculation in UniLogic


  • Geometry: UniLogic enabled BMI to create a table that interpolates between points that can be easily edited by the end user. Since waterways can be open channels or pipes, calculations must be adaptable to different geometric shapes to enable the application to support unconventional cross sections. Users can enter values via the HMI touch panel for standard geometric shapes, or import a .csv table for irregular geometries.

Sensor Communications

  • Modbus: UniLogic’s ‘communication via configuration’ paradigm made communicating with sensors via Modbus RTU a simple task.
  • Analog: UniStream’s built-in I/O enable analog sensors to be directly connected to the PLC and transparently integrated into the application.

Data: Log, Report, email

  • Data logging: UniStream collects multiple application data via the built-in Data Sampler, Trends and Data Tables
  • Reports: Data Tables are stored into a micro-SD card inserted into the UniStream controller in .csv format, the controller exports and emails the reports according to program.

Since UniStream PLC + HMI integrated controllers are available in a range of sizes, BMI is able to offer its customers 5, 7, and 10” graphic touch panels.

The user interface, designed using UniLogic’s HMI Editor, enables the end user to enter values, and to view the status of the application and real time data, numerically or expressed in Trends or Gauge widgets.


Unitronics PLC


Christian Gatti, BMI’s product manager, remarked that UniLogic All-in-One software was so easy to work with, that they were able to easily include features that were originally thought to be outside the scope of the project. In the future, they also expect to integrate IIoT into their applications using Unitronics’ UniCloud platform, such as sending data by email or alarms by SMS messages.

Thanks to Unitronics, many functions are now integrated quickly and easily into the programming software. We are also impressed with the upgrades that were not part of the initial project and the available technical support.”

Christian Gatti, Sales & Product Manager at BMI