Rotary equipment can do so much more than equipment with a platform and no moving parts to it.
However, rotary equipment also brings a lot more requirements and problems that have to be solved for it to function properly.
Slip rings are small devices that are a lifesaver to rotary machines and even though they’re often overlooked, they have an important role in rotary machines.
And in this article, you’ll learn everything there is about the connection between slip rings and rotary machines, but also how slip rings function and what they bring to the table, so keep on reading.
How Slip Rings Help Rotary Equipment
Rotary equipment provides more benefits and it drastically improves functionality over machines with a stationary platform that can only do one or two things at once.
However, one of the biggest problems was wires hanging around the joints. Wires could get stuck in the joints due to the movements of the machine and yet continuous contact was required for the machines to function properly.
That’s how slip rings were invented to solve the wire winding problem and eliminate wires hanging around the joints which could potentially lead to a serious downtime of the machine, which is something companies and factories just couldn’t afford to happen.
Slip rings attach to a stationary part of the machine and act as a bridge between the stationary and the rotary part of the machine, providing a reliable and strong contact point throughout the operation of the machine.
Therefore, slip rings help rotary machines with a reliable contact point that connects two parts of the machine without providing any hazards or potential problems that could lead to downtime of the machine.
What are Slip Rings and How Do They Function?
Slip rings are a very simple device that is wisely built and it only consists of a couple of components.
Two of the main components include a ring which is the outer part of the device and the inner part which is the brushes.
As the rotation happens within the device, brushes slide within the slip ring which establishes a solid contact point. As long as there is rotation, a slip ring maintains a solid and reliable contact.
Slip rings are installed on the stationary part of the machine and are connected to the rotary part of the machine, bridging the gap between the two while eliminating wires hanging around the joints.
When the contact happens, a slip ring can help transmit electrical signals, power, data, and even other mediums such as fluid, water, gas, or oil – depending on the type of a slip ring.
With such a simple and wise design, they require very little to no maintenance and have a pretty long life span which benefits all the devices and equipment the slip ring is installed on.
Slip rings are very versatile little devices in general, and with all different types and uses, slip rings can be used for a wide range of things.
Benefits of Slip Rings and More About its Types
The biggest benefit of a slip ring is that it can eliminate wires hanging around the joints, solve the wire winding problem, and transmit power and signal (and even other mediums) between a stationary and a rotary part of the machine.
On top of that, slip rings are very versatile so they can improve the mechanical performance of a device or a machine, they can simplify the system operation, and thanks to their versatility, they can even be used for other purposes.
For example, slip rings can also be used to add resistance to the AC motors, or even to limit the speed of wind turbine blades to eliminate the potential hazards.
There are 6 main slip ring types which include:
- Mercury contact ring
- Pancake slip ring
- Miniature ring
- Ethernet ring
- Fiber optic ring
- Through hole ring
However, keep in mind that there are plenty of sub-types, variations, and versions of these main slip ring types.
Companies such as Orbinexus have been producing all types of slip rings for over 10 years now and besides reliable and high-quality slip rings of any of these types, they are also providing custom slip ring solutions upon request.
They’re also working on crafting and designing modern versions of slip rings for certain needs too, so there are definitely plenty of slip ring versions to look out for.
Real Examples and Future of Slip Rings
Slip rings can fit in almost any type of working environment, machine, equipment, or device that has both a stationary and a rotary part to it.
Therefore, slip rings are widely used in many different industries and chances are, you’ll be able to find a slip ring in almost any industry you look into.
Some of the most common but also fascinating industries that rely on slip rings include aerospace, aviation, radar and monitoring equipment, medical imaging equipment such as CT or MRI, wind turbines, robotics, factory automation, excavation solutions, food and beverage industry, and many more.
The future of slip rings is very bright as companies such as Orbinexus are working on producing the newest and the latest (improved) versions of slip rings that can fit even more ways.
For example, you can now get wireless power slip rings that come with unlimited RPMs or brushless slip rings that have a much longer life span. That being said, slip rings are not only keeping up with the technology, but they’re also becoming even more versatile than ever before.
Modern equipment is a piece of art that helps everyone involved in its use, but even though not many know of slip rings, they’re almost a crucial part of these machines that have a rotary aspect to them.
With such reliable and versatile use, slip rings are used in almost every rotary device and they’re widely used in various industries all around the world.