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The latest model of Torqsense, the non-contact digital torque measuring system, incorporates an integral sprocket or pulley to allow easy fit-and-forget mounting.

Earlier models of Torqsense provided an in-line shaft for connection to the equipment under test.

While these are suitable for many situations, they sometimes meant a degree of engineering was necessary to mount the unit.

This prompted Sensor Technology to develop user-friendly models.

The RWT 350/360 Torqsense is suitable for virtually any plant driven by a belt or chain drive, particularly those where space is limited or access is restricted.

The ease of fitting is also likely to be of interest for jobs where it is essential to minimise downtime, such as in continuous process plant.

‘Belt and chain drives naturally have a high radial load, which has to be accounted for when mounting a standard Torqsense,’ explains Tony Ingham of Sensor Technology.

‘The RWT350/360 simply replaces an existing pulley/sprocket, and can be fitted in minutes and automatically compensates for the radial load,’ he added.

To aid mounting in tight spaces, the RWT350/360 has its control electronics separate from the sensing head, similar to the RWT330/340 series introduced by Sensor Technology last year.

This means that the head can be located in very small spaces, while the electronics are mounted at a convenient distance via a dedicated cable.

This configuration is also useful for situations where electronics may be more environmentally situated elsewhere.

Torqsense uses tiny piezo-ceramic combs, known as Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) devices fixed to a purpose-designed flange.

These distort in proportion to the instantaneous torque level.

The distortion creates RF data signals that are transmitted via a non-contact radio frequency coupling rather than by conventional but clumsy slip rings, or high inertia rotary transformers.

This data signal in turn is transmitted to the control unit, from which it can be read on an alpha-numeric display or transferred to a PC for storage and analysis using the Torqview software programme.

‘Our larger sensors are used in many applications at the heavy-duty end of industry, whereas our smaller ones are found in applications such as fine chemical dosing and lab-based research,’ said Ingham.

‘Right through this spectrum are applications where mounting is associated with a belt or chain drive; and the RWT350/360 makes this a simple plug-and-play operation,’ he added.

Sensor Technology

Sensor Technology are manufacturers of TORQSENSE Transducers, the world’s first low cost non-contact rotary torque transducers designed for OEM applications. Rotary torque measurement has always been difficult and expensive.

The patented method uses a surface acoustic wave device as a frequency dependent strain gauge and measures the change in resonant frequency caused by the applied strain in the shaft.

The signal is transmitted via an RF couple from the rotating shaft to a fixed pick-up.

By using a frequency-based device, the signal bandwidth is increased, and the problem of electronic interference common with analogue signals is eliminated. The torque sensors are designed to operate direct from a PLC or a PC.

They require minimum length of shaft, have low inertia, no physical contact between shaft and housing, wide bandwidth, high resolution and accuracy resolution to better than one part in a million, and excellent noise immunity.

The technology lends itself to design of OEM transducers for specific customer applications. Applications include automotive, manufacturing machines, condition monitoring where knowledge of torque is critical, torque control of tightening procedures, and monitoring of viscosity during mixing where consistency is required. The technology replaces existing types of rotary torque sensors by providing better performance at a lower price.

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