When considering the rotary solutions industry, slip rings are integral components in many modern systems, playing a critical role in enabling the transmission of electrical power and signals across rotating interfaces.
In this article, we’ll explore the various applications of slip rings and their importance in different sectors.
What is a Slip Ring?
Slip rings are essential components in many rotating systems. Electromechanical devices that allow the transmission of power and electrical signals from a stationary to a rotating structure.
Also called a rotary electrical joint, collector or electric swivel, slip rings have a wide range of applications in various industries. They can be used in any electromechanical system that requires a level of rotation while transmitting power, such as aerospace, defence and industrial automation systems.
At a base level a slip ring consists of two main elements: the ring(s) and the contact technology. Although there are also great advancements being made in relation to contactless technologies with relation to rotary transfer systems.
The push for green energy solutions is stronger than ever with wind turbines playing a significant role in the wind industry and renewable energy landscape as a whole.
Wind turbine slip rings facilitate the transfer of electrical signals and power between wind turbine parts, specifically the turbine's blades which rotate and the static nacelle (Generator applications). Slip rings also; enable turbines to adjust their blade angles depending on wind conditions, maximising efficiency and energy output (Yaw applications) and are crucial to de-icing systems for the blades during operation.
For further information on the operation of wind turbines and the crucial role that slip rings play, check out our recent article: How do Wind Turbines Work?
In the construction sector a lot of the machinery requires rotating parts, which rely on the seamless operation of slip rings.
In addition to power transmission, slip rings in cranes aid in transmitting control signals which ensure accurate and safe manoeuvring of heavy equipment. Under heavy-duty conditions, all rotating components of the cranes, for example jib arms and grabs, must be reliably supplied with power and data in both indoor and outdoor applications.
Excavators also pivot on their base, and slip rings ensure that electrical systems, such as lighting, sensors, and control interfaces, remain functional during operations.
The most common function of a slip ring in a fairground attraction is to provide power to the lighting systems, the slip ring acts to ensure electrical transfer from a stationary section of the ride to a rotating section while maintaining full electrical contact. Other functions include powering; motors, sensors, display panels and speakers for music/verbal instructions.
Examples of fairground rides that use slip rings, for various purposes, include:
- Ferris Wheels
- Pendulum Rides
The diverse industrial landscape offers a wide range of needs and applications for slip rings:
Revolving Doors: Slip rings are required in rotating doors not just for the transmission of power to propel the door itself, but also for signals, as well as lighting, sensors and alarms.
Packaging: The packaging industry has a strong demand for rotary applications, requiring the transfer of power and data to and from different types of packaging machinery within factories. For instance, where items are labelled while on rotating tables, slip rings allow the machinery to transfer of real-time data on what label to apply.
Robotics: Advanced robotic arms, especially in manufacturing setups, need to rotate while still receiving control inputs. Slip rings make this seamless multitasking possible.
Media and Film
In the media and film industry, rotating stages, used for dynamic shot angles, employ slip rings to ensure lighting and sound systems are able to work in tandem with the stage's movement.
Camera equipment, especially those mounted on rotating rigs or drones, also use slip rings for unobstructed power and data transmission.
How Can BGB Help With Your Rotary Needs?
It’s clear that slip rings prove their versatile functionality across a wide range of industries, showcasing how fundamental they are to modern engineering and innovation.
Want to learn more about the expansive role of slip rings? Perhaps you're seeking solutions for your own industrial challenges? Whatever your needs, BGB is here to guide and assist you throughout the process.
With years of expertise and a commitment to cutting-edge innovation, BGB provides a diverse range of slip ring solutions tailored for every application. From wind turbines to robotics and beyond, we ensure seamless power and data transmission tailored to your unique needs. Get in touch and browse our extensive range of slip rings and slip ring assemblies today.