Dry bulk handling is following other industrial processes that have been redeveloped from a 'black art' to a highly accurate and controlled procedure.
Nearly all machines are driven by a motor through a rotating shaft, and monitoring the torque, speed and power in this can provide masses of useful information.
Sensor Technology stumbled on a solution to this problem when working in the automotive industry and has been transferring the technology to other industries ever since.
TorqSense torque sensors use two surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices made of ceramic piezoelectric material containing frequency resonating combs. These are glued onto the drive shaft at 90degrees to one another. An adjacent RF pickup emits radio waves to the SAW's, which are then reflected back As the torque increases the combs expand or contract proportionally to the torque being applied. In effect the combs act as frequency strain gauges.
TorqSense measurement is often the only practical way to measure torque and integrate it into an industrial environment.
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Sensor Technology Ltd is based in Balscott, Banbury, Oxon, UK. www.sensors.co.uk