Torque sensors open up new worlds of plant and machinery control

sensor Technology’s new low-capacity models of non-contact torque sensors provide accurate measurement down to 200mNm for applications, including precision and high-speed robots, prostheses and implants, medical devices, small drives and micro motors.

The new TorqSense SGR 510/520 torque sensors include capacities from 0.2Nm to 1Nm, making the complete range 0.2Nm to 13,000Nm. The bigger units in the family are intended for machine tools, production and processing plant, heavy-duty pumps and similar large-scale installations.

Based on a four-element strain gauge bridge design, the sensors can accurately measure and record sudden spikes in torque load. This capability is becoming evermore important in integrated systems, automated machinery, test rigs and continuously monitored plant.

“Torque spikes can have an immediate effect on operations or may indicate the beginnings of a problem,” explains Mark Ingham, Sensor Technology’s Sales Director. “The SGRs are designed to accurately record all torque data from any type of system, big or small, simple or complex, yet be robust enough for use in virtually any environment.”

The device measures the torque 4000 time per second and utilises high-performance signal conditioning to supply a corruption-free, high bandwidth torque monitoring solution. This is further enhanced by 250% overrange and 400% overload capabilities, eliminating side and end load errors and real-time temperature compensation.

The non-contact signal transmission indicates the sensor exerts no load on the shaft it is monitoring, while maintenance-heavy slip rings have been designed out.

Three analog output channels on the 511 mean the device can measure real-time speed and power alongside the torque monitoring. A third output is dedicated to self-diagnostics and/or status functions. An Ethernet gateway module can also be installed in the unit.

As well as analog outputs, the SGR 520/521 is also equipped with digital outputs for interfacing with state-of-the-art instrumentation and laptops. Options comprise RS232, CANbus and USB. A digital input is supplied so that the 520/521 can be set up directly from a PC running specialist configuration software such as the company’s TorqView or LabView.

“Using the USB output, it is possible to connect up to ten SGR 520/521s into one fully integrated system,” comments Mark, “allowing even the most complex installations to be comprehensively monitored from a single workstation.

“Torque measurement is playing an increasingly important role in modern plant and machinery monitoring and control, enabling steady increases in efficiency, productivity, availability and accuracy – all key drivers in the advance towards tomorrow’s technology.”