150% growth in demand for slip rings that improve efficiency in industrial automation
The industrial automation industry is a hot topic these days because it’s one of the defining characteristics of the 4th industrial revolution. The industry is expected to be worth $269.5 billion USD by the year 2024, and automation is changing the way we consider the concept of manufacturing.
The 4th industrial revolution is showing major technological advances in a multitude of industries including industrial application development. This industry is at the forefront of developing increasingly innovative and efficient slip rings – especially electrical slip rings and through bore slip rings. Then question now is: how are slip rings improving efficiency in industrial automation?
Let’s first define a slip ring
There are various types of slip rings for various applications, but at the heart of all automated systems lays an electrical slip ring. Electrical slip rings are also referred to as rotary joints or rotary unions.
Using these slip rings, electrical power and data can be transferred from the stationary part of your, let’s say, manufacturing robot, to its rotating part. This is where through bore slip rings also play a big role. These are slip rings with a bore in the middle and they are mainly used in automated machinery with rotary axes. Electrical and through bore slip rings allow machines to perform more efficient and complex tasks by permitting a rotation of 360o.
Today’s industrial automation industry
The industry has been getting a bad rap because it’s often associated idea of robots taking over human manufacturing jobs. Although this rings true is some cases, here are some facts you didn’t know about industrial automation:
Automation protects labourers from dangerous working environments.
Labourers no longer work excessive hours, going from a 70-hour work week to a standard 40-hour work week.
Automation increases production rates, but simultaneously decreases operational costs.
Automation results in a more efficient use of materials, resulting is less waste.
Automated machines produce products of a higher and more consistent quality.
Manufactures have greater control over the production process.
Automation is run by pre-installed, instructional and logical programmes.
Less routine and manual checking is required when using automated machinery.
Automation means that the length of time between the start of a project and its end product is shorter.
Robot, meet your slip ring
Let’s revise: the main function of your electrical and through bore slip rings is the transference of electrical power and data from stationary to rotary parts of your robot. The slip ring, performs its function through physical contact – mitigations the risks that come with the use of cables, such as twisting and breaking.
There are five main components of a slip ring:
The fixed brushes – creating sliding contact that is responsible for creating the electrical connection with the rotary part of the robot.
The conductor ring, which is mounted onto the rotor. Attached here and to the brushes, lead wires connect both sides of the slip ring to create an electrical connection.
How slip rings create efficient factories
The efficiency of an automated system is largely dependent on the efficiency of its components. Here, the efficiency of electrical slip rings and bore though slip rings plays an important role, but what makes a slip ring efficient?
Designers of slip rings take the following factors into consideration:
Using high quality materials such as palladium, god and silver.
Using materials to boost current capacity.
The slip ring’s resistance to wear.
The size of the slip ring.
Reducing the electrical noise of the slip ring.
The data transmission protocol used by the manufacturer.
The quality of transmission power and signal.
Electromagnetic interference (EMI) with regards to bandwidth requirements.
Using advanced radio frequency and EMI techniques to ensure high data integrity.
How the slip ring should mount onto the machine.
The environment in which it will be operating, such as the operating temperature.
The speed and direction requirements of the machine.
The type of cable used to connect the slip ring to the machinery.
Slip rings play a vital role in the reliability, operation and performance of automated systems, and they have to keep up with innovative ideas in the development of more efficient automated machinery. One such idea is utilization of the Internet of Things (IoT) in automated systems.
IoT is a hot topic being increasingly thrown around when talking about the 4th industrial revolution, but what is it exactly? It is the concept of the connectivity of devices to the internet and to each other through the internet.
The most common example of an IoT device is a cellphone. Your cellphone can connect to the internet, but beyond that, you can control other devices that are also connected to the internet using your cellphone. For example, you can switch on your connected coffee machine using a your cellphone.
How does this relate to automated machines, you might ask? Here’s how: IoT allows a large amount of data to be collected and shared among interconnected machines. Furthermore, for effective business strategies, it is incredibly helpful for automated systems to do monitoring in real time, another benefit of IoT.
Industrial IoT creates a greater demand for more sophisticated electrical and through bore slip rings to increase power, and data transmission rates. Therefore, slip rings in the industrial automation industry must, not only, be highly efficient in handling electrical power, but digital signals as well.
With the speedy growth of the industrial automation industry, follows the speedy research and development of more innovative and efficient slip ring technology. As a result, efficient electrical and through bore slip rings create efficient automated systems.
This is not only true for the increasing electrical power transmissions, but for large data transmissions as well. This creates an industry with high production rates, low operational costs, and easily obtainable real-time data for developing more efficient business strategies.
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