Renold launch Smartlink for all

Renold has launched a new version of Smartlink, the company’s innovative chain monitoring technology, which can be installed and operated either by maintenance engineers or OEMs. Previous versions of Smartlink have had to be installed and monitored by Renold’s own engineers. The system was difficult to use and the battery only lasted for a few hours. Now Smartlink can be owned and operated by anyone, bringing the benefits of chain monitoring to a much wider range of applications. The new system is easier to use, more robust and can be switched on for months allowing long condition monitoring of the chain.


The new Smartlink devices are supplied already fitted to a section of chain; users simply install the new chain link and Smartlink is ready to go. The units are available for operation on one inch, one-and-a-quarter inch and one-and-a-half inch pitch chains with larger sizes and conveyor chain options coming shortly. They are remotely controlled with a choice of two hand-held devices, providing users with two levels of sophistication.


The simpler of the two hand-held controllers is no bigger than a key fob and enables Smartlink to be operated as an overload detector. In this instance Smartlink will provide a warning when chain exceeds a predetermined load, by showing a Red LED, enabling engineers to check machinery and make sure that it is safe to continue operating the system. The alarm conditions on the Smartlink device can then be reset using the remote control.


A more sophisticated hand-held controller is available that is capable of downloading much more detailed information from Smartlink about the nature of the stresses and loading the chain was subjected to during a given period of operation. This data can then be downloaded to a PC using software specially written by Renold. The data can be analysed with the software supplied using the ‘Save As’ command or by using software like Excel with the ‘Export’ command.


The third and highest level of sophistication is available where Renold’s engineers act as consultants to provide a better understanding of the loadings on the customer’s application. This level is especially beneficial for troubleshooting or diagnostics on a problematic application or for OEMs developing a new product.


These developments have been possible thanks, in part, to the availability of smaller electronic components and miniature batteries that were initially developed for high-grade military applications. These new batteries are so small that Renold’s team were able to integrate them with the PCB itself so that they were no longer a component on the board, they became part of it.


Speaking of the new launch Renold Chain’s marketing communications manager, David Turner, said: ‘This launch represents a breakthrough in predictive maintenance technology and brings the benefits of Smartlink to a much wider range of engineers. The new Smartlink units provide a groundbreaking opportunity to understand system loads which may be detrimental to the performance of a product or the operation of machinery.’


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