Robotics and automation are two very similar terms that are used interchangeably, but there are small differences, yet both industries benefit from using slip rings.
Slip rings are often overlooked as a small part of the manufacturing process of machines and devices, yet they’re significant and have more than just one important role.
In this post, you’ll be able to learn more about robotics, automation, and even how slip rings fit these industries and how they benefit the global progress of advances in both industries, so keep on reading!
What are Slip Rings, and Why are they Important
A slip ring is a small device that was made to solve an important problem in devices with a rotary aspect to it.
The problem they solve is wire winding in the rotary joints where the stationary part of the machine connects with the rotary part of the same machine.
Therefore, not only did the invention of slip rings eliminate these issues and have provided a hazard-free way to make the connection, but slip rings can also provide connection and transmission of an electrical signal, power, data, and even other mediums such as fluids, coolant, water, and others.
Besides that, slip rings come in various types that can do much more; for example, slip rings can limit the maximum speed of a wind turbine’s blades and can even be used to add resistance to the generator.
They are important since they make a great connection between two parts of a device, allow rotation, remove wires from joints, and yet still provide a secure contact while eliminating the possible downtime of a machine or a device due to potential writing problems.
How Slip Rings Benefit Automation and Robotics
Almost all robotics and automation devices, tools, and machines are based on the platform as a base with an additional rotating platform.
Therefore, the slip ring allows these machines to fully utilize the rotation while removing wires from the joints and providing a secure connection.
Since slip rings are made of two main components, the ring and a wiper (or a brush) that’s placed on the inside, the brush moves inside the ring with the help of rotation. It creates a strong contact, transferring electrical signal, power, and data, depending on the slip ring type – another medium.
Therefore, equipment with a lot of moving parts highly benefits from slip rings since they solve the writing issues and are affordable, a simple yet highly efficient solution.
The greatest example of the slip ring’s benefits in the automation and robotics industry is medical imaging equipment such as a CT or MRI, where the whole rotary platform requires a lot of movements. Yet, signal, power, and data are transmitted through wires. In such a case, a slip ring makes the best choice to provide hazard-free and efficient contact between a device’s rotary and stationary parts.
The Future of Robotics and Automation with the Use of Slip Rings
Slip rings are in so many more devices, machines, and hardware we can even think of. Even though they’re often overlooked components of these devices and are the overlooked help to these industries, it’s a highly effective solution used worldwide across many different industries.
Brands such as Moflon provide a great array of slip rings for various uses, such as slip rings for aviation, aerospace use, robots, monitoring equipment, medical equipment, radars, and more. Moflon is also providing custom solutions to those in need of slip rings as a solution in innovative solutions, so slip rings are getting advanced and updated to keep up with the modernization.
In the robotics and automation industries, slip rings help keep up with the innovations and provide a simple solution at every step of the process, from the design, manufacturing, building, and deploying of the hardware and equipment.
With the advanced robotics and the advancements in artificial intelligence, robots are becoming way more sophisticated than ever before, and slip rings are beneficial in providing a supporting role to keep the rotary and stationary parts working together.
Types of Slip Rings and Its Uses & Possibilities
There are different versions and types of the slip ring to adapt to the various needs and uses, so the most common slip ring types are the following:
- Pancake slip ring
- Mercury contact ring
- Ethernet ring
- Fiber optic slip ring
- Miniature ring
- Through-hole slip ring
There are also many sub-types and versions of slip rings to fit various industries and needs. Also, keep in mind there are also custom slip ring solutions that you might come across with various innovations.
The most common slip ring types can transmit electric, power, analog, digital data, and more. Some of the advanced types can transfer fluid, liquids, gasses, and electrics simultaneously (such as hydraulic slip rings).
The most innovative slip rings are high-frequency ones that can transmit fiber optic, high frequency, and electric.
With so many innovative slip ring solutions, they can fit industries such as military, agriculture, commercial, industrial, oil & gas, and many others.
There are plenty of other applications and slip ring solutions for food and beverage industries, wind turbines, excavation equipment, factory automation, marine dredging, and more.
Not everyone knows what slip rings are and what they do, but if you ever came across one, this guide should give you a pretty good idea of what they are, how they function, and their purpose.
Slip rings are keeping up with the technology and especially demanding industries such as robotics and automation, so it’s there to stay for long.
Slip rings are so helpful even in industries such as robotics and automation, providing a simple yet versatile worldwide solution.
Have you ever encountered a slip ring (or maybe even a custom slip ring) in one of these industries? Did you know what it was? Let’s know in the comments.