Requirements for slip rings and rotary joints in the Smart Factory

      Space saving plays a role in every industry. This often starts with the fact that numerous Individual processes on rotary indexing tables be executed. Slip rings and/or (hybrid) rotary joints are necessary so that the plant components installed on one can be supplied with electricity as well as receive and transmit data to peripheral components. This applies, for example, to filling systems, from filling to labelling and capping. and the space saving also applies to the slip rings themselves. The feedthrough and Transmission of fluids, data, current and signals must be as combined take place.

      Slip rings in the food industry 4.0 must therefore first of all function as maintenance-free as possible, be very variable in rotation speed (rpm), space-saving and easy to clean. This means that production must be interrupted as rarely and as briefly as possible, for example to make fine adjustments to the operating parameters or to carry out maintenance work.

      The Condition-Monitoring enables maintenance needs to be identified in good time so that, if possible, no complete replacement of a component is necessary, which would usually mean long downtimes. In addition, the slip rings learn through generated data how they can positively influence their own operating parameters in order to reduce maintenance in the future. For this, integrated sensor technology is necessary so that the slip rings actually »Industrie 4.0 ready« are.

      In addition, hybrid slip rings must combine more and more functions in just one component. Whether it’s the fastest data transmission with the help of Fibre optics, USB connections, industrial Ethernet or video signals, they all want in addition to the classic media feed-through and power transmission be integrated. The data transmission must be reliable and fast. Likewise, currents of 120 A and more have to be transmitted in some cases, while these do not affect the Transmission of the Ethernet data may have an effect. Accordingly, the choice of network cable and shielding (CAT) is also decisive here. Our Ethernet Slip Rings are capable of handling both high currents and data with up to 1000Mbit/sec without loss and with minimal noise (max 10mΩ) in only one slip ring. Namely independent of the Ethernet protocol used (PROFINET, Sercos III, Powerlink, EtherCAT, MECHATROLINK-III and much more.).

      And also the Requirements for rotary joints are increasing. Increasingly, they too must not only be able to transmit media such as emulsions, oil, water or other liquids with high separation accuracy and in combination in multi-channel rotary joints, but also additionally electrical power and signals, such as Video signals, Ethernet signals, Profinet, KOAX, HD-SDI and fieldbuses. In this way, a rotating union can combine several media and, in addition, the contactless power transmission of the classic slip rings, so that it can also be used for the Plant control and monitoring of production to be able to be used. For this, a high degree of customisability, for example in sealing rings and materials, is crucial.

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