R+W Introduces Intelligent Couplings for Process Reliability

The Intelligent Coupling with integrated sensors measures values such as torque and rotational speed.

The Intelligent Coupling with integrated sensors measures values such as torque and rotational speed.

December 20, 2019—
Accurate measurement of torque and other parameters can be a challenge in machinery applications, as measurements taken at the drive and motor only tell part of the story. To address this challenge, R+W is launching a completely new measurement device in its Intelligent Coupling. This specialized coupling creates entirely new possibilities, providing wireless transmission of mechanical data from directly within the drivetrain.

The objectives of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) include optimizing operational efficiency, reducing production costs and monitoring equipment condition. Various production processes can be better adapted to given requirements with better data. With modern methods, such as predictive maintenance and artificial intelligence in machines, process reliability has been significantly increasing in new plants and production facilities. This serves to reduce cycle times and increase product quality. 

Collecting accurate data in the field of drive technology is not always a simple task. Data monitoring in a rotating drive train is difficult because a direct networking cable connection is often impossible, or the machine lacks sufficient installation space for the necessary instrumentation. R+W now offers a user-friendly and widely applicable hardware and software solution in its Intelligent Coupling.

Coupling with smart measurement system

The Intelligent Coupling is an upgraded standard coupling with integral sensors to provide additional measurement functions. The system measures torque, rotational speed and vibration as well as axial forces, at a sample rate of 500 Hz. The data is processed directly within the electronics package and displayed on a wirelessly connected smartphone, tablet, computer or PLC. On the R+W App for mobile devices the data can be monitored graphically in clearly arranged windows. A recording and export function provides the opportunity for further analysis. The mechanical properties of the intelligent coupling are not affected by the integrated electronics. It can continue to compensate for axial, lateral and angular misalignment and transmit torque as any other flexible coupling can. 

Measurement directly in the drivetrain

Like the purely mechanical version, the Intelligent Coupling can be easily integrated into most drivetrains. The installation options are not limited by a permanent cable connection. The use in confined spaces or in mobile applications is made possible via an integrated rechargeable battery, with an inductive power supply also possible. Data can be sent to the connected device in near real time using a Bluetooth Low Energy connection. The R+W App displays the data as an average value with min/max memory on the dashboard. Various scalable chart types track the detailed progress of the data. Data from multiple couplings can also be illustrated simultaneously. For further analysis, the data can be saved and downloaded as a CSV file.

Quick and easy data acquisition

With the Intelligent Coupling R+W offers a smart alternative to a torque transducer, with reasonable accuracy and a comparatively low cost. Another advantage is the relatively small space required for installation of the coupling, since no complex auxiliary construction is needed for installation, beyond the coupling itself. The intelligent coupling can be quickly and easily mounted into driveline designs or integrated into existing systems. 

Enhanced transparency in the drivetrain

The combinable, time-dependent measurements can be used, among other things, to achieve a better assessment of the dynamic behavior of rotating drive components. By determining torques and axial forces, failure and downtime can be reduced or prevented entirely, increasing plant availability and reliability.

The entire potential for this development is far from fully realized. New functions and various algorithms for evaluating the data ensure that the intelligent coupling becomes even smarter and sets new standards in the drive technology market. (written by Sascha Markert, development manager, R+W)

R+W America
(630) 521-9911

R+W America
Over the past 25+ years R+W has developed into a world leader in precision shaft couplings for torsional rigidity, vibration damping, and overload protection. Whether for micro motors or 10 megawatt drives, R+W couplings are customizable for most applications, while many standard models ship from stock. Configurable CAD models are available in a large number of file formats at www.rw-america.com ...Read more Or visit www.rw-america.com