When engineers at Farris Automated Systems LLC, Hartland, Wis., were designing a dynamometer for checking rotating parts, a major challenge was in configuring the device’s main hardware component — a torquemeasurement gun — to handle different applications. The design team quickly found out that configurable components would allow faster customization and timely deliveries without the need for maintaining large and expensive part inventories.
The dynamometer, called a Rolling Assembly Dynamometer (RAD), measures resistance in rotating components and assemblies such as transmissions, differentials, gearboxes, axles and pumps. Information from the RAD lets designers figure out how smoothly the tested component will spin. The RAD notes inconsistencies by measuring the torque needed to spin the rotating assembly, then records a series of torque signatures, which takes about 30 sec. The tool is most commonly used in setting the proper bearing preload, but is also used to test for proper gear mesh and for changes in pumps’ rolling resistance.
The RAD uses a gun assembly, motor controller, and PC/software to rotate the input shaft. The gun frame can use up to 16 different motor and gearbox combinations. To quickly set up different lengths of hex standoffs and flange bearings for the gun, the Farris team sources them from Misumi USA, Schaumburg, Ill. Misumi provides the parts on extremely short lead times with no minimum order requirements, so Farris can assemble guns quickly without having to stock all the variable combinations.
Farris Mechanical Engineer Brian Terry says engineers there use Misumi’s fixed and configurable parts in a variety of the company’s automation devices as a way of configuring mechanical components to precise specifications. They also download 3D CAD drawings directly into their SolidWorks CAD program, as well as use Misumi’s Web Ordering System to order parts.