Actual gear motor load is determined by torque sensors

In Automobile industry as well as automation industry power transmission instrument are very important to the performance of many machinery. Be it assembly line control, controlling conveyor belts, packaging or moving heavy loads here and there.

The lifespan of these machines are also important, because they are quit costly to replace and also it stops the production while the this kind of maintenance is going on. Manufacturers of gear, motor and power transmission equipment are competing on quality, delivery time and high load capacity, which in some cases can be the main reason for breakdowns.

The actual gearbox output power is different from what the manufacturer has published the datasheet of. The development process needs to incorporate validation on test rigs which will ensure actual gearbox performance bridging the gap between estimated.

Torque measurement
Torque measurement

Mellor Electrics, based in UK, have notch up their development process. They have most of the processes in house so they have control over various aspects of the production. They have invested in latest CNC turning, hobbing machines and also CAD facilities and computerised testing equipment.

Torque measurements
An example of torque measurement [source Windpower Engineering ]
Gearbox breakdowns occurs due to underestimation of operating loads or insufficient testing, including endurance testing, performance testing, static and dynamic overload testing.  Mellor Electrics were testing several ways of getting precise torque measurements and being able to produce the speed/torque graphs.

They used a basic beam rig on the end of an arm, as well as a third party dynamometer. Finally they sourced the Datum Electronics M425 non-contact rotary torque sensor, which has been used for motor testing and process control applications. The team decided to build their own test jig, which has power supply, the torque sensor, magnetic particle brake and a fixture. All these connected in line with the precision bearings.

The gearbox is connected with M425 torque sensor, the power is applied to the test the motor gearbox. Now the brakes are applied gradually, then measurements by M425 sensors are made via software.

This method helps reducing cost of gearbox replacements and rebuild as well as the downtime. To prevent potential failure and decrease the cost of manufacture, it is critical to understand the gear motor’s performance to prevent their failure.

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