Now available from Micromech, the Alpha IQ range of smart planetary gearboxes are a variant of the successful Alpha SP+ and TP+ but with the added advantage that they can monitor themselves and transmit data over an RS232 serial link. Depending on the type, these gearheads can measure and monitor torques, radial forces, speed or temperature. Combinations of these variables are also possible because three measurement channels are available.
Each sensor gearhead is fully compatible, both mechanically and geometrically, with the standard Alpha products, plus they boast the same impressive characteristics when it comes to low backlash, positioning accuracy, synchronism, smooth running, etc.
The technical advance of these sensor gearheads opens up exciting process monitoring opportunities for not only engineers but also for managers. Clearly there are major benefits for production and maintenance departments through managers having the ability to collect data from equipment and plan ahead for service downtimes.
Therefore the Alpha IQ helps avoid unscheduled downtime by monitoring critical components in a machine as well as their accumulated information - which is invaluable for developing and designing new machines. This approach allows process variables to be measured on the spot through real-time data capture directly during operation, with a maximum sampling rate of 1kHz of up to three channels that can be evaluated synchronously. The IQ uses a PLG (process data log) so that all process data is monitored and logged to facilitate real-time retrieval via various interfaces. Determination of the load population means the actual load is measured over the entire service life of the component. This technique helps optimise design criteria due to information that is verified on the basis of actual load values.