See how customers around the world are using TorqueTrak systems from Binsfeld Engineering to troubleshoot and optimize their machinery, control processes, increase efficiency, prevent damage and solve challenging problems — in short, saving time and money by making smart data-based decisions.

Viscosity Measurement in Mixer Tanks
Reference, Wikipedia: “The viscosity of a fluid is a measure of its resistance to gradual deformation by shear stress or tensile stress. For liquids, it corresponds to the informal notion of ‘thickness’. For example, honey has a higher viscosity than water.”

In vertical industrial mixer equipment, that resistance in the tank can be measured using the Binsfeld Engineering TorqueTrak instruments and Micro-Measurements strain gages installed on the rotating mixer shaft. The torque measurement on the shaft is directly related to the viscosity of the fluid or mixture in the tank (the workload.) As viscosity of the product increases, so does the torque signal proportionally, assuming constant shaft speed. In some processes, the viscosity starts very high and then decreases dramatically as dispersion takes place. The torque measurement will not present data in units of viscosity, such as pascal-seconds (Pa·s), rather it will be used to indicate when a desired viscosity has been achieved.



High Torque Alarm Prevents Damage to Gearbox

A prominent cement company in Brazil was having trouble with their vertical roll mill gearbox. The gearbox had been breaking down at least once per year, causing very expensive downtime for the company. They could not determine the cause. Our sales agent in Brazil, Torkflex Transmissões Industriais Ltda. (Torkflex), was called in to evaluate the situation.

Working with the gearbox manufacturer Torkflex decided to install the TorqueTrak Revolution instrument from Binsfeld Engineering to continuously monitor the true mechanical Torque & Power on the shaft, the workload, during normal operation. They plan to set several “High Torque Alarm” functions, using the 4-20mA output signal from the TorqueTrak Revolution instrument to indicate dangerously high torque on the shaft, meaning high strain in the gearbox. The torque signal can be used as a warning when torque is high to turn on a light or sound an alarm. As an example, it could be used to stop the equipment by interrupting the drive before any damage can occur. The real-time response of the torque signal is fast!

Step Response, Torque Input: 2msec max Frequency Response: 0-1000 Hz (-3dB max @ 1000Hz). Sampling Rate: 4800Hz.

Now, the workload is continuously monitored, providing valuable data to the cement company. They can see when the torque goes high and how that relates to the material input to the roll mill system. The “High Torque Alarm” function will prevent any further damage to the gearbox.



Automotive Stamping Press
Nissan Motors, Smyrna, TN – Repetitive breakdowns of the transfer drive (moves parts through) on a stamping press were restricting production. The press manufacturer said the machine was designed for 18 strokes per minute but running it faster than 10 spm caused drive component failures. Was the press under designed? How much torque was the transfer drive shaft actually experiencing?

Binsfeld Engineering installed a torque sensitive Micro-Measurements strain gage and a TorqueTrak Telemetry System on the transfer driveshaft. Live data recorded during actual production verified that operating loads greatly exceeded design estimates when the transfer mechanism changed directions. The press manufacturer was held accountable for redesign based on the actual torque measurements.



Rolling Mill Performance Problem
IPSCO Steel, Axis, Alabama – A rolling stand at IPSCO Steel consistently under-performed – it was unable to reduce six-inch thick slabs by the 1.25 inches desired. Engineers suspected the drive motors might be the cause. Before making this claim to the motor manufacturer they wanted to test their theory by measuring the torque on the spindle shafts.

They installed Binsfeld torque telemetry with Micro-Measurements strain gages to transmit live torque data from the spindle shafts.

The spindle shaft torque measurements verified that the motor was the problem. IPSCO shared their data with the motor manufacturer who was then able to tune the drives and nearly double the output power. This eliminated a costly bottleneck in IPSCO’s production process, returning them to full operation.



Paper Machine
International Paper Company – Plant personnel were not able to run the year-old paper machine at full speed. Either the two drive motors were not producing the rated horsepower or the process required more horsepower than the drives could produce. Motor current measurements supported the theory that the motors were under producing.

However, engineers on staff knew that motor current data is not always an accurate indicator of torque loads. It was decided to measure the actual torque on the output drives using strain gages for comparison to the motor data.

Binsfeld Engineering was called in to instrument dual drive shafts with Binsfeld torque telemetry and torque sensitive strain gages from Micro-Measurements and then record torque data simultaneously on both drives while the machine was running. The data quickly confirmed that the drives were not producing the rated horsepower and indicated that a review of the motor and electrical drive system was in order.


Hot Strip Mill
Bethlehem Steel, Sparrows Point, MD – Plant engineers had deduced that sporadic torque overloads on a rolling stand in the hot strip mill were causing breakdowns of the expensive drive system. What the engineers didn’t know was why. Was it a function of the width or thickness of the hot slab fed through the stand? Did the material properties (grade) of the slab matter? Was it something else that they had not considered?

Torque readings on the spindle drive shafts would be instrumental to understanding and solving the problem. Binsfeld Engineering installed its diagnostic torque telemetry equipment and torque sensitive strain gages fromMicro-Measurements on the spindle shafts and the torque was monitored under various operating conditions. Testing revealed an unexpected cause of high torque loads: hot slabs that sat too long (e.g. due to operational delays) developed cold areas which were harder to work in the rolling stand, creating significant torque overloads. Based on this finding, the company implemented a process to reject cooled slabs thereby avoiding expensive breakdowns. The result was increased production and reduced maintenance.



Steel Roll Stand

Granite City, IL – A major US steel producer was having a problem on a their five-position hot rolling mill. At line startup just following a roll change, sometimes the line would not run. Once the operators reversed direction momentarily and then restarted, the line ran normally. The source of the problem was unknown. Were the AC drives not engaging the shafts? Was there an uneven load sharing amongst the five stands causing the shafts to bind?

The mill’s reliability engineers purchased the TorqueTrak 10K to conduct temporary torque measurements on the drive shaft of the fifth position, where the problem occurred most often. The torque data captured following a roll change confirmed that the drives were properly loading the drive shaft. Next, the plant engineers planned to instrument one of the roll shafts to further diagnose the problem.


Conveyor Damage Avoided

Engineers at a chocolate factory in Chicago, Illinois had an expensive problem with one of their cooling conveyors. Trays loaded with hot confections were moved through a series of air cooling tunnels by the conveyor. Each tunnel section had an independent length of conveyor and drive. Occasionally, a tray would become wedged in one of the tunnels and subsequent trays would stack up behind it. As the conveyor loaded up, it would eventually overload the drive and stop the process. But not until many pounds of product were lost, along with hours of production time spent cleaning up the mess and restarting the line. In some cases, damage to the equipment would also occur, requiring even more downtime and labor to repair it.

The TorqueTrak Revolution was selected to provide continuous torque monitoring on the driveshaft for each conveyor section. The 4-20mA torque output signal was wired to a Programmable Logic Controller. When the torque from any driveshaft reached an alarm limit (higher than normal operating torque put lower than torque loads known to cause damage), the PLC would shut down the conveyor drives, thus protecting the equipment. The system was installed and successfully detected several tray jams after only a few months, halting the drives and saving thousands of dollars each time. One of the plant engineers remarked, “The system works far better than we had hoped for.” The TorqueTrak Revolution proved to be a sweet solution to a very messy problem.

Automated Torque Measurement
Material handling company Magnetek needed a more efficient method of testing the torque produced by their industrial brakes. Originally they used torque wrenches to measure the torque that the brake produced. Magnetek looked to Binsfeld Engineering because they had successfully used a TorqueTrak 10K temporary diagnostic system in a high speed variable inertia brake dynamometer for product development. In this case, Magnetek needed a more permanent solution.

Binsfeld recommended the TorqueTrak Revolution. With the TorqueTrak Revolution added to their process, they were able to automate the test using a variable speed drive to control rotation while accurately measuring the true torque the brake produces. Brakes with torques ranging from 18 ft-lb to 15,000 ft-lb can be tested to assure that they meet customer requirements. Magnetek successfully achieved a cost savings by dramatically reducing the labor it takes to test production brakes while increasing repeatability and accuracy.


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Maple City, MI 49664 USA

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Binsfeld's Torque Measurement Systems measure true mechanical torque and power on rotating shafts. We also offer consultation, strain gaging and installation services.


Binsfeld's Rotary Temperature Transmitter Systems provide accurate and reliable temperature control on heated godets and calendars. We also offer design and OEM services.


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