Why do I need to measure torque and power? Why is it so important?

The simple answer is, “Because it saves time and money.” Knowing the true mechanical torque and power on a rotating shaft is especially valuable when it comes to commissioning new equipment, and/or troubleshooting existing equipment. Of course, you don’t just have to take this answer at face value. If you’re not quite sure how measuring torque and power can save your operation time and money, keep on reading.

Here are 5 reasons to measure torque and power on a rotating shaft, specifically if you’re looking to save your facility time and money.

 

Reason #1: Optimize Fuel Efficiency (Marine Industry)

When you measure true mechanical torque and power on a propeller shaft, you’re able to verify the true power output of the engine(s). This is a critical number in understanding propulsion efficiency and completing emissions analyses. You can compare fuel input to engine power output to vessel speed for accurate propulsion efficiency analysis and emissions analysis.

The measurement of true mechanical power output is the most accurate way to determine the horsepower output of your vessel and, by using accurate measurements, you can more accurately measure and implement efficiency-improving initiatives.

 

Reason #2: Load Management

Continuously monitor the material load on equipment, as indicated by the torque on the drive shaft. With an understanding of the true mechanical torque, you can speed up or slow down the process accordingly. The data helps process engineers determine how to “share” the load between multiple drives in a conveyor system, ensuring that one part of the system is not being driven more than the others which may lead to premature failure.

Torque data also indicates if you have more capacity in your equipment than what is being used, allowing you to maximize the throughput of your process. Using torque data to manage the load in an industrial process helps reduce downtime and increase the efficiency of your operation.

 

Reason #3: High/Low Torque Alarm

By continuously monitoring torque and power output of rotating equipment, you can ensure that the load stays within safe operating limits. Once a load limit is triggered, torque measurement data can signal your equipment to shut down before a catastrophic failure occurs. Measurement systems are often a fraction of the cost of a broken driveline (such as a broken shaft, gearbox, or coupling), meaning a small investment can save big money in downtime and equipment replacement costs in the long run.

For the torque alarm application, torque telemetry systems offer several advantages compared to other methods of torque measurement. By using a strain gage bonded to the shaft, downtime for sensor installation is reduced and torque measurement is taken as close to the load as possible with almost instantaneous response times (less than 4.2 msec). With Binsfeld telemetry, you can have peace of mind knowing your expensive equipment is being protected.

 

Reason #4: Diagnostics

Measuring torque and power gives you insight into how your equipment is functioning, and why. You can determine why there’s a weird humming noise coming from your machinery (torsional vibration) or why the coupling broke (excessive start-up torque). When you’ve got detailed measurements on how your rotating equipment is functioning, you can improve operations and stay out in front of mechanical failures, saving your employees time, and your company money.

Reason #5: Predictive Maintenance

Along with giving you diagnostic insight into your equipment, measuring torque and power allows you to complete preventative maintenance before major equipment failures happen, while also allowing you to extend the lifespan of your machinery. Torque sensors lend themselves as a perfect “add-on” to a variety of other common sensors used as part of the Industry 4.0 trend. Binsfeld telemetry systems offer a variety of common data outputs that easily integrate into your existing systems.

These are some of the basic ways that torque & power measurement can save time and money for nearly any operation that makes use of rotating equipment. If you’re interested to see how measuring torque and power can work for your operation, give the team at Binsfeld a call. TorqueTrak instruments are used in many different industries and applications all around the world, and we would be happy to answer any questions you might have about how they can help you, too.