According to recent research, the slip ring market is estimated to hit $910 million in value by 2025. This is from its $730 million value in 2018. Such data shows there is an overwhelming demand for slip rings globally.
However, as a buyer, despite your desperate need to get slip rings, one of the most challenging things you’ll face is how to make the right choice. The market is saturated with numerous brands, and some of them you’ll come across aren’t just worth spending on.
Regardless of whether you want pancake slip rings or a through bore slip ring, it doesn’t matter; you need to get your money’s worth. Hence, there are certain things you need to keep in mind.
Now let’s have an in-depth look at these factors you need to consider when making a purchase.
5 Important Factors to Consider Before Buying an Electric Slip Ring
The Operational Environment of Your Appliance
This is a point you must not ignore. The location or environment you’ll be operating the appliance that your slip ring will be installed into must be a major determinant of the choice you make.
For instance, when getting an electrical slip ring for a machine used in an outdoor environment, you might want to go for a waterproof slip ring. This will save you future costs due to external damaging factors.
Over time we have seen a lot of operators take this consideration lightly or ignore it totally and as a result, get in serious trouble. Hence, always check your environmental factors before proceeding to buy a slip ring.
Keep in mind that slip rings are developed for varying industries, but primarily centered on research, production, and heavy-use industrial applications. So, you shouldn’t make assumptions that you’ll get a slip ring that can survive all conditions, as they differ.
Now, understanding if the electrical slip ring will have contact with liquids or any other harsh conditions will assist you in your specification demands when contacting the manufacturer.
This will enable them to add things like potted connectors, sealing methods that aid in maximizing durability and performance, and terminators to junction boxes.
Your Machine’s Mounting and Space Requirement
Everyone knows how annoying it is to drive all the way to a store, quickly grab a pair of shoes without testing it, and then get home to realize it doesn’t fit. It’s frustrating. Now, imagine having to face that with an industrial appliance?
That’s a nightmare.
This is why you must understand your appliance’s space and mounting requirements before making a purchase.
When you give the manufacturer your critical space demand, most times all that needs to be done is a reduction of the assembly channel count or even simply concealing one electrical slip ring within the through-hole of another slip ring.
What’s more, with regards to your device’s mounting requirements, there are a variety of options and configurations that will best meet its needs.
Take, for example, a project that requires you mounting the slip ring on a shaft or medium such as water or air with hydraulics that needs to be passed through the center; you’d need to go for a through bore slip ring rather than pancake slip rings.
Also, even when you pick a through bore slip ring you’ll still need to specify it’s diameter to ensure it mounts perfectly.
What is Your RPM Requirement?
This is certainly not a factor to overlook as you can lose your slip ring investment to wear and tear when you ignore it. Hence, if your machine demands high rotational speed, then you need to find out from your vendor its RPM requirement.
If your appliance requires a high rotation speed, then purchase a slip with high RPM. This needs to be specified to the manufacturer in order for additional provisions to be included in your slip ring to permit proper speed usage.
Furthermore, in certain situations, several high-speed machines can exceed the typical RPM rating for a slip ring, and in such cases, liquid cooling or air cooling methods are introduced in order to keep the slip ring cool due to excessive generated heat from its rotation.
The Quality of the Slip Ring
Due to the fact that you can’t have a peek at the interior of the slip ring you want to purchase, you need to be able to tell the quality of one from its external appearance.
One tip to use is to take the neatness of the electrical slip ring into an account. Does it have a tight structure? How is its design? Are its processing lines smooth? Do the wires look broken, messy, or even damaged?
These are questions you must ask yourself before making a purchase for obvious reasons. If the external appearance is quite shabby, you can expect the same shabbiness when you put it to work in your appliance.
Asides from this, also pay attention to how smooth the rotation of the slip ring is when in motion, as it shouldn’t feel loose or have excessive friction.
One of the most vital pieces of information you must possess when you want to buy an electrical slip ring, whether it’s a through bore slip ring or pancake slip rings is the accepted amperage your machine requires.
There are numerous slip rings available, all with different current carrying capabilities and designs. Hence, by having knowledge on the average and maximum current usage for each aspect of your appliance, you can get a slip ring that fits into your needs and does not exceed the accepted requirement.
It’s important to note that most times, you’ll get slip rings that have a reasonable safety margin inbuilt in their design in order to counter unexpected current surges that occur during regular use or startup.
However, if you continuously use a low amperage slip ring for an appliance that necessitates a high amperage one, it could cause high temperatures, which will result in permanent damage.
So, to avoid this, know the exact voltage needs of your appliance.
Now you’ve seen the most important things to consider before purchasing a slip ring, ensure you use these tips the next time you want to buy one. Don’t simply buy at random, but make sure what you get is exactly what you need.