One great way to help ensure smooth operation and continual uptime in many production processes is the use of torque monitoring. Implementation can be as simple as a single torque limit switch that trips a local alarm (for example, to let the operator know to clear a jam). A more complex system might include a low torque shutoff switch, high torque cutoff switch, and analog torque sensor tied to a process control system. A low torque switch may indicate, for example, a broken coupling. In a sheet-fed system, it might indicate the sheet ran out. A high torque switch typically indicates a load problem, such as a jam in a grinder.
Analog monitoring allows you to do all kinds of things with trends. Maintenance-required conditions can produce a trend change. A quick corrective response between production runs often eliminates production downtime for those conditions. Some examples include:
- Sheet feed alignment is moving out of spec.
- Gearbox (multiplies torque) is malfunctioning (due to lubrication, coupling problems, alignment stray).
- Boxes are jamming together due to a conveyor roller problem.