R+W America's new
torque limiter, the SL Series, utilizes a proven spring-loaded ball detent
system, along with a previously patented preload for zero-backlash operation.
To achieve its target of 50-percent weight reduction, R+W embarked on a two-year
collaborative effort with local universities, designing the product from the
ground up rather than simply redesigning or optimizing existing products. The
result is a torque limiter constructed from state-of-the-art materials with
unique surface treatments and innovative assembly technology - surpassing
weight reduction targets and simultaneously reducing its footprint.
In addition to custom material specifications, specially designed spring
systems, and some improvements to the ball detent configuration, resulting in a
40 percent increase in torque capacity for a given size, the weight reduction
was also achieved through the compression of individual components.
The four sizes (Series 30 / 60 / 150 / 300) cover disengagement torque
values from 5 to 700Nm, and involve various mounting options, including both direct
and indirect drive versions. Models SLN (clamping) and SLP (keyway) attach by
flange to sprockets, sheaves, pulleys and gears, and include an integral dual-bearing
system to support belt and chain tension when properly located over the shaft. Models
SL2 (bellows coupling) and SLE (servo insert coupling) mount inline between two
independently supported shafts, such as motor to ball screw connections, and
compensate for the small but inevitable misalignment which exists in this type
of machine layout. All four types are field adjustable, and come with both
English and metric bores according to customer specifications.
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For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.