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Sensor Technology is to unveil the Torqsense RWT330/340 series of non-contact measurement sensors for space-critical applications at M-Tec 2009.

The RWT330/340 provides non-contact measurement of torque, speed, power and position of rotating shafts, such as machine drives, drive shafts for pumps, fans, mixers and so on, and in the critical axes of test rigs.

Torqsense uses tiny piezo-ceramic combs fixed to the transducer’s shaft that distort in proportion to the instantaneous torque level.

These create data signals that are transmitted via a non-contact radio-frequency coupling rather than by conventional slip rings, or high-inertia rotary transformers.

Because piezo technology requires so little power, this is also supplied via the RF coupling.

This data signal 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.

The company’s larger sensors are used in many applications at the heavy duty end of industry, and the smaller ones are used in applications such as fine chemical dosing and lab-based research.

At both ends of this spectrum are applications where splitting the sensing head from the control electronics is desirable.

It may be a space constraint or it may be a matter of protecting the electronics from harsh environmental conditions such as heat, damp, noise, vibration or EMC.

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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