Product Details Supplier Info More products

Renold Chain has announced that its Smartlink chain sensor is now available for smaller pitch sizes down to 0.5in (12.7mm) pitch chain.

The breakthrough has been possible thanks, in large part, to advances in the miniaturisation of components, and means that Smartlink is now available for use on a wider range of applications.

According to Renold there is approximately 10 times as much half-inch pitch chain in use as one-inch pitch.

Smartlink can be fitted to chain on real applications and records dynamic data such as peak and shock loads.

The units are remotely controlled by means of a handheld device and the data collected can be downloaded onto a PC for analysis with software developed by Renold.

The results enable engineers to understand the loads applied to the chain throughout the whole system.

It can point to problem areas in the system, such as misaligned sprockets, and can be used to determine more precisely the ideal size of chain that should be used.

The main stumbling block to reducing Smartlink’s size was battery technology.

Because Smartlink is attached to the chain’s side plate the unit must carry its own power supply, and the first Smartlink devices were fitted with a PP3 9V battery.

The new Smartlink for half-inch pitch chain uses batteries that take up less than half the space of what was being used before.

Further breakthroughs came with the reduction of the PCB to just a third of its former size, and, to help the smaller batteries, the new board incorporates highly power-efficient electronics.

The strain gauge also had to be redesigned as the original was bigger than the space available on the side plate of the half-inch pitch chain itself.

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.

Users can choose between two remote controllers.

The first is about the size of a key fob and works with Smartlink to provide a warning if an overload has occurred.

It shows a red LED light when chain exceeds a predetermined load, 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 handheld controller is also available that is capable of downloading 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 be downloaded to a PC using software 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.

Smartlink can be used on a range of applications including theme park rides, food processing, conveying, handling and has even been used to solve problems in arduous environments such as agricultural machinery and wheel-tractor scrapers.

Founded in 1879 by Hans Renold, the Swiss engineer who invented the bush roller chain, Renold is a specialist global manufacturer of power transmission products and systems. Wherever there is mechanical movement Renold’s products can be found either at the heart of the system or working quietly in the background providing the precision, reliability and peace of mind that has become the hallmark of the brand. Renold’s innovative products and expertise benefit a divers range of sectors including manufacturing and process industry, marine propulsion, aerospace, specialist vehicles, mass transportation, mining, quarrying, theme park rides and people moving applications where reliability and safety are critical.

View full profile