Binsfeld TorqueTrak Torque and Power Monitoring System (TPM2 series) is a rugged precision instrument designed to measure torque and/or power on rotating shafts in real time. The TPM2 uses RS422 full duplex, point – to – point serial interface communication. The TPM2 is custom designed to fit on shafting up to 40 inches (1016 mm) in diameter. Machine disassembly is not required.

* Software for setup and configuration
* Digital RS422 output
* Splash resistant control box
* Selectable input ranges
* High RPM / centrifugal g-force rating

Key Features

Easy Installation – Rotating Collar and Stationary Ring are split and bolt together around the shaft. No Machine assembly or Shaft modification is required.

Robust Construction – Sturdy hardware and electronics, built for demanding environments..

Reliable Operation – Inductive power and data transfer with generous clearance between stationary and rotating parts. No wear surfaces.

System Status Indicators – Confirm proper operation at a glance. Expedites troubleshooting.

Easy-on Collar – Rotating Collar is designed to accommodate small variations in shaft diameter and clamps to the shaft using standard tools.

Communications Made Easy – High-speed bi-directional communications link interfaces with PC or PLC. User-selectable sample rate up to 4800 samples/second.

Product Support – Backed by BEI’s proven outstanding customer service, before and after the sale.

POWER SUPPLY INPUT:10 – 30 VDC @ 10 W (nom), 15 W (max)


Strain gage bridge, 350 ohms (std), 120 ohms (min)
Input Range: user-selectable from 0.025 to 32 mV/V
Shunt Calibration: 2 user-selectable: 1 mV/V and 0.2 mV/V (350 ohm bridge)
15 bit (32,768 points)


Zero error: ±0.1% FS (max), Scale error: ±0.2% (max)
15 bit (32,768 points)

TORQUE SIGNAL BANDWIDTH: 10 user-selectable settings from 3 to 1000 Hz


Measured once per revolution
Resolution:1 5 bit (32,768 points), auto-ranging
RS(EIA)-442 full duplex, up to 1000 ft (300 m) run
Baud Rate: Auto-detectable from 1200 to 460,800 bps
Sample Rate: 10 user-selectable settings from 9.375 to 4800 samples/sec
-40° to +70° non-condensing

Application Fields
















Binsfeld Engineering is proud to be a market-leader in the marine market, offering user-friendly and easily integrated torque and power measurement solutions. Whether our customers want to monitor vessel performance, diagnose the root cause of repeated component failures, or increase fuel efficiency, Binsfeld shaft power meters provide the data needed to get the job done.

  • Reduce downtime by knowing when engine, propeller, gearbox, or bearing performance is degrading.
  • Initiate preventative maintenance or replace worn components only when needed
  • Diagnose propulsion problems Figure out why hull efficiency has degraded (hull-fouling)
  • Determine the root cause of an excessive torsional vibration on a propeller shaft
  • Combine mechanical horsepower measurement with vessel speed and fuel consumption sensors to monitor fuel consumption and increase fuel efficiency
  • Meet emissions requirements by optimizing fuel efficiency


Know when shaft performance is degrading when maintenance is needed (Predictive Maintenance)
Ensure machine is running at peak performance and identify excessive energy losses in couplings, gears, and bearings
Keep things running at peak efficiency to increase equipment longevity and ensure less downtime.
Quickly and accurately determine the root cause of malfunctioning equipment


Binsfeld Engineering serves the automotive market with wireless torque sensor systems used in testing and development of cars & trucks. Our products are specifically designed to meet the space-constraints of the automotive market by offering low profile transmitters that provide reliable torque data from any rotating shaft.
Measure the true mechanical torque on any rotating shaft (i.e. drive shaft, half shaft, axles)
Optimize drive shaft design

Drive shaft (or half shaft) torque can be measured by using wireless torque telemetry. A torque-sensitive strain gage is applied to the drive shaft and wired to a battery-powered transmitter. The drive shaft torque signal is transferred from the transmitter through radio frequency to a nearby receiver, then output to a data acquisition system. A typical set-up is shown below (Not pictured are the receiver and the data acquisition device).

AE Baja is a challenging collegiate racing series hosted by the Society of Automotive Engineers where student teams design, build and compete off-road vehicles. Except for tires, rims, shocks and the engine, the teams must either customize or design and manufacture every component of the car. A recent competition took place in Oregon and involved over 100 teams. Vehicle performance events included acceleration, land maneuverability, hill climbing, and endurance racing. Points were also awarded in categories such as overall cost, design, and vehicle presentation.
The TorqueTrak 10K system provided valuable torque and power information for the development and tuning of the R.I.T. challenger. The buggy performed admirably throughout the competition to earn a third place finish overall.
Congratulations to the Rochester Institute of Technology SAE BAJA Buggy Team!
Mechanical engineering students working as part of the Michigan Technological University’s Challenge X Team were plagued by broken half shafts in the electric drivetrain of their Chevrolet Equinox hybrid vehicle. A resonant torque event was causing the failures that were occuring even at low speeds on tractive ground.
The Challenge X Team employed Micro-Measurements strain gages and Binsfeld telemetry to conduct real-time analysis on the rear drive shafts. During tests where the vehicle was allowed to coast down from 20 mph to a stop, harsh vibration was experienced and presented in the torque data as an oscillation with a frequency of 7.1 Hz. This data matched the natural frequency predicted by a two-mode model of the drivetrain simulating backlash between the axle and the differential. This backlash caused instability in the closed loop regenerative torque control, creating a resonant torque event exceeding the ultimate strength of the half shafts. Programming changes in the control logic to account for the backlash would eliminate the failures.
The Challenge X competition, sponsored by GM and the Department of Energy, was initiated to foster the development of fuel efficient technologies to minimize energy consumption and environmental impact of light-duty passenger vehicles.
International Truck & Engine Corporation, Chatham, ON, Canada – Failure of the front engine PTO on a Transit Mixer leads to vehicle ‘downtime’, which results in loss of revenue. The hydrostatic drive system in this application could be enhanced by new design alternatives that offer potential cost, weight, and maintenance savings. To determine the reliability of new designs, the duty cycle of the hydrostatic pump has to be determined.
How does one quickly and inexpensively collect torsional data from a rotating shaft without extensive installation modifications?
Binsfeld TorqueTrak telemetry and Vishay strain gages were sighted as the answers and installed by International’s Chatham Engineering group. Torque measurements made during a three-day field trial indicated the presence of torque reversals, illustrated the relationship between concrete slump rating and drum torque requirements, and identified the peak torque loads. The data collected provided sufficient detail for a duty cycle to be defined which would be utilized for new system design validation testing.
Recent rises in fuel costs have started to impact the bottom line for farm managers, making them consider possible methods to achieve energy savings. Conventional subsoiling can be performed deeper than necessary to alleviate compaction layers. However, site-specific subsoiling permits a subsoiler to be operated at the depth necessary to impale the compaction layer thus, reducing draft forces while also saving fuel. The overall goal of this study was to develop a mobile data acquisition system to monitor equipment performance parameters in real-time to assess and quantify energy requirements for site-specific tillage. A data acquisition system was developed to collect and monitor slip, fuel consumption, axle torque, and draft load data on two site-specific tillage experiments. Results indicated a 54% reduction in draft forces and a 17% reduction in fuel consumption occurred with a shallow depth (9 in.) compared to a deep depth (14 in.). The three implement time rotation experiments produced increased fuel consumption, draft loads, and axle torque with longer time spacing. The Bigham Brothers Paratill® experienced increases of 8%, 25%, and 21% in fuel consumption, draft forces, and torque, respectively, with the triennial time rotation compared to the annual and biennial rotations. The Kelley Manufacturing Company (KMC) in-row subsoiler experienced increases of 6%, 24%, and 18% in fuel consumption, draft forces, and torque, respectively, with the triennial rotation compared to the annual and biennial rotations.


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.

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.
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.
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.
PSCO 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.


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.

When Russell Westbrook and Mete Sireli of Clean Current Power Systems needed to do some turbine performance testing, they chose Binsfeld’s TorqueTrak products to help them look for answers. Clean Current ran their proprietary “generator in open circuit” in a tank full of water to determine the total losses of the turbine due to various effects such as “generator cogging”, “bearing friction”, and “viscous losses”.
After completing the water tank tests in their shop, they sent the turbine to the Institute of Ocean technology for testing in their 200m tow tank. Part of this testing included using a hydraulic brake equipped with a force transducer to determine the torque produced by the turbine. They ran the generator in “open circuit” as in the previous test. A known brake pressure was applied to keep the turbine rotational speed constant. Using this information they correlated the brake pressure to the measured brake torque required to run the turbine at a given torque and rotational speed.
The in-house tank tests with Binsfeld’s TorqueTrak Systemand the towing tank tests with a custom built brake-force transducer allowed Clean Current to determine the hydrodynamic performance of their proprietary turbine.
Kenetech Wind Power, Palm Springs, CA – To further optimize the design of their large scale wind turbines, Kenetech design engineers wanted actual bending stress measurements on the blade shank where it attaches to the rotary hub. But how could the signals from the rotating Micro-Measurements strain gages be communicated to the data collection system?
Slip rings were ruled out due to the lack of space and the excessive cost of machine disassembly required for installation on the rotor located 200 feet above the desert floor. Binsfeld TorqueTrak telemetry provided a convenient solution to the problem.
The lightweight telemetry transmitters were carried up the tower and installed on the rotor hub, eliminating the need for a crane. The bending gage data was transmitted from the rotating system to a receiving antenna on the tower and then cabled into the data collection trailer on the ground. Kenetech now had live bending data that they could correlate with wind speed and other parameters to provide key information to improve the turbine design.
Engineering Dynamics Incorporated (EDI) performed a field test of an induced draft (ID) fan system at a refinery that was experiencing failures of couplings, flexible disc style. The fan is part of an atmospheric furnace that heats approximately 152,000 barrels of crude per day. The ID fan is driven by a 350 HP induction motor. The motor speed is controlled by a variable frequency drive (VFD) from 0 to 1200 RPM. The trouble began when the motor was changed out for one of similar electrical performance, but of different physical size.
The failure of the original flexible disc coupling consisted of a crack in the spacer, which appeared to originate at a bolt hole. Initially, plant maintenance was blamed for possibly over tightening the coupling bolts. The 45 degree angle of the crack in the coupling spacer is a typical indication of high torsional vibration.
To quantify the transmitted and dynamic torque in the coupling, a TorqueTrak 10K telemetry system from Binsfeld Engineering was used with a Micro-Measurements strain gage. The waterfall plot below shows a torsional natural frequency (TNF) of the system near 58 Hz, which was being excited by 1× electrical frequency of the VFD. This resulted in high dynamic torque in the coupling when operating the fan at 1000 – 1200 RPM.
At a crude oil pumping station (consisting of 10 units with 4500 HP/ unit), a problem arose where the elastomeric couplings melted during regular operations as seen in this photo.
Suspecting torsional vibration as the cause of failure, Mr. Gilberto Rios of DYNA company installed the TorqueTrak 10K telemetry instrument and a Micro-Measurements strain gage to measure the true dynamic torque during operation. Shown below are the data. a. Torque. b. Shaft Speed. c. Torsional Vibration Spectrum:
Torque is an important variable to the designers and manufacturers of wind turbine technology. Torque data is especially critical in the evaluation of wind turbine components such as bearings, gears, and braking systems. By providing the true mechanical work being generated by the rotor shaft, torque can be used to determine the true efficiency of the system: mechanical energy in – versus electrical energy out.
In order to collect torque data, a bondable strain gage sensor is applied to the shaft. The strain gage is a Wheatstone bridge circuit that changes resistance in response to distortion of the shaft surface when rotated under load. The relationship between this distortion (strain) and the mechanical work being generated (torque) is linear in the elastic region and based on the physical properties of the shaft. The best way to collect strain data from a rotating shaft is via a telemetry system that reads the analog signal from the strain gage and transmits it as a digital signal to a stationary receiver where it is collected for analysis or used for real-time process control.
The TorqueTrak Revolution system manufactured by Binsfeld Engineering Inc. provides torque, power (hp or kW), rpm and direction of rotation data continuously using inductive power and data transfer. It has been used successfully in many applications in the wind industry, where the typical service life goal for wind turbines is 20 years and meaningful validation trials may last on the order of months or years.
A TorqueTrak 10K user in a Gulf Coast refinery was having issues with their compressor train. The compressor train uses a synchronous motor drive in a hard start application. In that application, torque pulses occur from 120 Hz to 0 Hz during the transient start-up. When accelerating up to synchronous speed the system passed through torsional resonances. A resonant condition like this creates stress in machinery components that can exceed their endurance limits for fatigue.
The customer found it necessary to analyze these stresses using finite element computer modeling. They then used that information to determine a safe number of system starts. Often in this arrangement, some components in the machinery train are life-limited. By temporarily installing the TorqueTrak 10K with a Micro-Measurements strain gage, the user was able to accurately determine the torques and stresses of the life-limited components. This validated the computer model and allowed the customer to operate the system without concern for further damage.
The TorqueTrak 10K saved the client time and money by avoiding excessive system repairs and the cost of replacing components prematurely.
A six-stage horizontal centrifugal pipeline shipping pump driven by a 10,000 BHP variable frequency electric motor failed after only four years of operation. Inspection of the failed unit revealed that the rotor bars were badly deformed with points too close to the stator windings. Two identical pumps were inspected and the same problem was detected, though not as severe.
DYNA, a vibration analysis consultant, was called in to investigate the three systems. Utilizing TorqueTrak instrumentation and Micro-Measurements strain gages, test data was collected over the full range of shaft speeds from dead stop on up to the maximum operating speed of 4,100 rpm. Two speeds were found to produce specific torsional vibration amplitudes, indicating a resonance condition, on each of the three pumps. The first (at 720 rpm) was the typical Slow Roll speed. Maximum dynamic torque values as much as 30% of the supplied torque were measured at this speed. The second was at 3,375 rpm, which was within the normal operating range, with peak loads as great as 10% of the supplied torque detected. For an electric motor, the maximum allowable dynamic torque is 1% of the supplied torque. At these shaft speeds, the 6th motor harmonic was exciting resonance in the system and causing high lateral vibration leading to premature failure.
As a result of the analysis, the suggested solutions were to shift the Slow Roll speed up or down 10% and to add inertia (a weighted disk) close to the coupling to move the natural frequency node below the normal operating range. Once implemented, the vibration was eliminated and the reliability of the pumps restored.
Weeks after commissioning, a compressor unit tripped on high motor vibration. Upon inspection, cracks were found in the center piece of the coupling indicating a possible torsional vibration problem.

The unit consisted of a 3150 HP induction motor operating at 894 RPM, shim pack coupling, flywheel, and 4-throw reciprocating compressor. Full load torque (FLT) of the motor was 222,000 in-lb. After the coupling was repaired, a Binsfeld TorqueTrak TT10K system and a Micro-Measurements strain gage were installed on the motor shaft to measure both transmitted (average) torque and dynamic (alternating) torque.
Peak torque of more than 450% of FLT was initially found with the compressor loaded, which is considered excessive even for reciprocating machinery. However, the signal appeared clipped so the unit was shut down to adjust the transmitter. It is important to check the time wave forms for flat spots, spikes, drop – outs, etc. to ensure good data collection.
Binsfeld includes a convenient remote control that allows easy changing of settings such as channel and gain. Without any soldering of pads, the remote was used to quickly switch the gain from 4000 to 2000. The unit was re-started and the maximum torque was actually 630% of FLT (1,400,000 / 222,000= 6.3).One engineer questioned the calibration since the torque readings were extremely high. Further comparison with other measurements such as motor current and cylinder pressures verified correct horsepower and that the Binsfeld system was accurate. In addition, the remote had been used to perform built-in shunt calibration during installation of the TT10K to check for proper scale factor.
The high torque exceeded the coupling manufacturer’s allowable limits and caused the failure. The first torsional natural frequency (TNF) was coincident with 5× running speed, which greatly amplified the dynamic torque (AF ˜ 80). For a reliable system, the TNF should have a separation margin (SM) from significant compressor harmonics. API recommends a SM of 10% if possible.
The compressor manufacturer offers “detuners” or internal flywheels that can be bolted onto the crankshaft. This compressor frame can accommodate three detuners, which were promptly ordered from the factory and express shipped to the site. Within a few days the modified compressor unit was re-tested. Strain gage measurements confirmed that this additional inertia lowered the first TNF from 75 Hz to 71 Hz (now 5% below 5× running speed) thus reducing the torque amplitude at that harmonic. The torque levels are now considered acceptable.

Ariel Corporation was working on an issue with Rotor Bearing Technology & Software, Inc. (RBTS) for a company in Australia. Since its start up, the customer had experienced multiple elastomeric element failures in the drive coupling on their large coal bed methane booster compressor at loads and speeds in the design operating range. This compressor unit is driven by a natural gas engine.
The analytical torsional model initially predicted the first mode torsional natural frequency (TNF) to be below 800 RPMs (720 RPM at 30°C and 620 at 100° element temperature at rated engine torque).
Ariel’s Tom Stephens performed site testing with two TorqueTrak instruments with Micro-Measurements strain gages simultaneously: one for coupling dynamic torque, and one for coupling element temperature. Because these elements are part of the rotating coupling assembly, Ariel decided to use telemetry to transmit the signal from their internal temperature sensor. The measurement data indicated the coupling was acting much stiffer than originally modeled with the fundamental twist critical speeds between 800 – 850 RPM. Operating at, or even near, the critical speed was causing the coupling’s elastomeric elements to heat up. The drive train’s fundamental twist mode of vibration was being excited by the inherent unsteady torque demand from the compressor which resulted in damaging levels of torsional vibration in the drive coupling.
The plot shows the coupling element heat generation under different vibratory torque levels – a value below zero indicates that the coupling is cooling down and above zero indicates that it is heating up. Referring to this chart, to prevent the elastomeric elements from overheating, one can see that the vibratory torque level must remain below about 11,000 ft-lbs P-P.
Armed with this data, a slight modification was made to the setup of the coupling assembly which resulted in lowering the drive train’s fundamental twist frequency and ultimately improved compressor reliability. Binsfeld’s TorqueTrak products provided the required telemetry solution to facilitate the simultaneous monitoring both torque and temperature on a rotating coupling assembly which were essential to enabling Ariel and RBTS to fully understand the problem and arrive at a solution.


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.

Sugar cane processing plants in Brazil use the TorqueTrak Revolution instrument to continuously monitor the true mechanical torque on the conveyor drive shaft. The drive shaft torque is directly proportional to the material load on the belt. Use this “belt load” signal from the TorqueTrak Revolution instrument as feedback to the drive and feed systems. Low torque indicates low load and calls for an increase in material feed to the belt. High torque indicates high load and calls for a decrease in material feed. Very high torque may indicate a material jam or some other problem with the equipment. Set the high torque alarm function to stop the conveyor equipment before any damage can occur.
A Brazilian gearbox manufacturer had a mystery to solve in the giant drive system of a Brazilian sugar cane processing mill. The coupling at the gearbox is a special “overload coupling” and it broke repeatedly during the routine sugar mill process. The special coupling has a mechanical torque limiter to prevent overload, but the limiter never activated. The gearbox itself was not damaged.
Trying to find the cause of the broken couplings, the gearbox manufacturer called in our Brazilian agent, Torkflex Transmissões Industriais Ltda, who installed the TorqueTrak 10K telemetry instrument plus Op-Torq FIELD TEST 2 data acquisition system to measure and analyze the true mechanical load of the sugar milling process. Look closely at these photo and you will see the torque pattern strain gage plus TorqueTrak 10K Transmitter and 9V Battery installed on the giant rotating shaft.
They expected to find high torque spikes in the milling process, high enough to break the couplings. But to their surprise, they found no torque spikes. In fact, there were no overloads at all. The process load proved to be well within design limits. This interesting discovery prompted the gearbox manufacturer to contact the manufacturer of the special “overload coupling”, who then performed some tests and found the problem to be the coupling material itself. In the end, everybody was satisfied that they had correctly diagnosed the problem and implemented a corrective action that would prevent it from happening again.
Wear on sugar cane rolls is an expensive maintenance problem for the sugar cane industry. Wear produces loss of sucrose extraction and loss of grip of the roll on the bagasse. This paper presents the evaluation of wear and loss of grip of hypoeutectic and hypereutectic high chromium welding deposits applied on ASTM A-36 steel and gray cast iron. A modified ASTM G-65 standard test was used. Wear was produced by the abrasive action of wet bagasse with three levels of mineral extraneous matter. Silica grains with sizes in the range of 0.212-0.300 mm (AFS 50/70) were used as mineral extraneous matter. Grip was evaluated by measuring the torque on the power transmission shaft that moves the specimens. Worn surfaces were characterized by using scanning electron microscopy. Wear was found to increase proportionally related to the mineral extraneous matter content. Geometric changes of the weld deposits related to wear caused grip loss. For low mineral extraneous matter level, wear resistance of carbon steel was greater than that of gray cast iron; whereas the opposite was found for high mineral extraneous matter level.
One of the most important stages of the sugar cane process is crushing, where juice is extracted from the shredded cane by compressing it between grooved rolls. Wear on rolls is a common problem in the sugar industry, which directly affects the efficiency of the juice extraction. The main cause of such wear has to do with the presence of Mineral Extraneous Matter (MEM) like soil from the fields or metallic particles generated from previous stages of the process, such as shredding. Wear produces loss of the original geometry of the teeth of the rolls producing loss of compaction and decreasing the extraction. Moreover, wear produces loss of roughness on the roll surface [1] and decreases the grip of the roll over the sugar cane producing a poor feeding to the mill. Hardfacing welding deposits are applied to the teeth to protect the surface and decrease wear, since these hardfacing deposits are made with alloys of high wear resistance. However, the use of these alloys increases the cost of maintenance. Also, some welded particles are eventually detached from the rolls and contaminate the cane, affecting later stages of the process.
Commonly, rolls are made of gray cast iron because it is not as expensive as steel and has better machinability. However, gray cast iron has poor weldability, which may generate cracking on the weld deposits and the base material, with the collateral loosening of the hardfacing.
It has been found that wear on low carbon steel due to the action of bagasse increases as the MEM contained in the bagasse increases, and also as a result of an increase in the contact force at the interface bagasse–steel [1]. Wear produced by bagasse and MEM on high chromium (Fe-Cr-C) hypoeutectic and hypereutectic welding deposits was evaluated on laboratory tests [2] where it was found that the applied force between the bagasse and the specimen had a significant effect on wear, but no important difference between the hypoeutectic and hypereutectic alloys was found. The effect of the geometry of the deposits was not evaluated on that study since the specimens were ground before the wear test to produce a regular surface. The effect of sugar cane juice and the MEM content on wear of carbon steel has also been evaluated [3]; it was found that juice increased the wear by a wear-corrosion synergy. Later, the effect of juice and MEM was also evaluated on carbon steel buffered with austenitic stainless steel welding [4] where no significant improvement was achieved with stainless steel with respect to carbon steel. An important factor on wear of rolls hardfaced with weld deposits is the geometry of the deposits [5]. The geometry and roughness influence the performance of the mill because a high roughness produces good grip over the bagasse [5]. However, when the roll surface has been polished due to wear, the grip is loss and the feeding of bagasse to the mill is decreased; therefore, the performance of the mill is also decreased. Previous studies [6] evaluated the effect on wear response of the distance between welding deposits and it was found that wear decreased as distance decreased. However, it is possible that deposits with small distance generate also a smaller grip due to the resulting smaller roughness on the surface of the specimen; therefore, deposits with low distance might not be the optimal configuration.
The microstructure and mechanical properties of Fe-Cr-C welding deposits have been previously studied [7]-[9]. Other works, regarding different items besides the microstructure, have evaluated the wear resistance of these alloys [2], [10]- [12]. However, to the best of our knowledge, the effect of the wear on the grip has not been evaluated.
This paper shows the results of a research project undertaken to evaluate wear and grip loss produced by wear on two base materials: ASTM A-36 steel and gray cast iron class 50, both materials hardfaced with hypoeutectic or hypereutectic high chromium white cast irons. Wear was quantified by the weight loss of the specimens and the grip loss was quantified measuring the torque on the shaft of the specimen’s holder. The main contribution of this study was the correlation found between wear and grip loss.


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A large urban city water treatment facility uses large power driven chain-linked scrapers called “flights” to extract impurities (i.e. mud and silt) from each cistern as part of the water purification process. The drive system, specifically the gear sets, would repeatedly fail. Excessive torque was the suspected cause.
Engineers used several TorqueTrak 10K telemetry instruments from Binsfeld Engineering at various sections of the system to measure the true operating torque. It was determined that operating torque was normal, but the gear sets were undersized relative the actual workload. Stronger gear sets were installed and the failures have ceased. Precise torque measurement data led the engineers toward the correct solution to the an expensive gearbox failure problem.
A civil engineering company in Chicago was hired to determine the start-up torque for a column pump at a water treatment plant for the City. The City desired to upgrade the pump drive system by employing reduced voltage starters to minimize in-rush current.
Some of the oldest pumps in the system required extra power during start-up, nearly twice the operating horsepower, depending on the open or closed state of the discharge valve. This problem could be resolved by over-sizing the motor (a costly option) or by optimizing the timing of the discharge valve opening, relative to the torque load. Both options pointed to one question: How much torque is required for starting the pump?
Engineers used Binsfeld telemetry to transmit live torque signals from Micro-Measurements strain gages on the impeller drive shaft while simultaneously monitoring RPM with a tachometer during trial start-ups. The torque and RPM data provided the information engineers needed to make informed decisions on how to best optimize the pump performance. In a matter of hours, real impeller torque measurements pointed to a conclusive solution that would otherwise be only guessed at based on time consuming and complicated modeling.
Houghton Lift Bridge, Houghton, MI – Mechanical rework and painting of the double deck, vertical lift bridge at Houghton, MI had potentially changed the weight of the movable span. Lunda Construction, the primary contractor, was required by the Michigan D.O.T. to check the balance between the span and counterweights for proper and safe operation. At each corner of the bridge a large cable connects the span to the counterweight over a motor driven sheave. How could Lunda check the overall balance of this counterweighted cable system?
Binsfeld Engineering was contracted to measure the torque simultaneously on the four drive shafts to determine if an imbalanced condition existed at any of the four corners. With Micro-Measurementstorque sensitive strain gages and telemetry transmitters attached to each drive shaft, torque data was recorded concurrently as the span was raised and lowered. By comparing the lifting torque to the lowering torque, and correcting for friction, it was verified that the movable span was slightly heavier than the combined counterweights (a desired condition) and that all four corners were within acceptable balance with each other.
The Park Street Bridge in Alameda County, California is a four-lane double-leaf bascule (draw) bridge spanning 372 feet across the Oakland Tidal Canal between the Cities of Alameda and Oakland.
When rework construction modified the weight of the original lift spans the Alameda County Engineers needed to determine the proper counterweights to prevent the lift drive motors from overloading. By measuring torque on the main pinion shafts used to lift the bridge, it was easy to determine and optimize the drive loads through adjustment of the counterweights on each span. Torque sensitive Micro-Measurements strain gages were bonded to the pinion drive shafts and two TorqueTrak telemetry systems were used to communicate the strain gage signals from both pinions simultaneously as the shafts rotated.
The County has a number of movable bridges that occasionally require adjustment due to repaving or other mechanical changes. With the Binsfeld telemetry equipment, torque and balance measurements can be made quickly and accurately, eliminating guesswork and potential drive overload problems.
Engineering Dynamics Incorporated (EDI) was requested to help perform an axial load test on a vertical water pump. Since commissioning, the pump experienced accelerated bearing and shaft wear. There was concern that problems might be due to up-thrust resulting in a bow in the vertical shaft. The pump is driven by a 250 HP induction motor with variable frequency drive (VFD) speed control. The thrust bearing is located at the top of the motor.
The TorqueTrak 10K telemetry instrument from Binsfeld Engineering and single-axis strain gages were installed on the shaft as shown in Figure 1. Calibration was done using hydraulic cylinders and a lifting plate under the coupling hub. The scale factor was experimentally determined based on the slope of the linear fit as shown in Figure 2.
EDI’s data acquisition system was used to record all test data. The pump was started and brought to 100% speed. As shown in Figure 3, the axial force started at 1700 lbs (hanging weight of pump) and then increased to 6600 lbs. A positive reading indicates downward axial force. Therefore, no up-thrust condition was observed during startup.
The pump was then tested from 70% to 100% operating speed. The measured force includes the thrust as well as the hanging weight of the line shafts and pump impellers. All values were positive and remained in the 6000 to 7000 lbs range as shown in the table below:A final test was conducted with other pumps running at the station. The discharge valve was partially closed to increase discharge pressure and simulate rated head. The maximum axial force measured at this operating condition was 7600 lbs and compared well to the predicted down-thrust of 7500 lbs shown on the drawing.
Using the Binsfeld TT10K, up-thrust was ruled out as a possible cause of the bearing and shaft issues. Damage may have instead been caused by sediment in the river water being pumped by the station.