What’s Included in a Slip Ring Assembly?

What’s Included in a Slip Ring Assembly?

Procurement specialists, regardless the industry, often have to make purchasing decisions about slip rings. Slip rings are found in heavy machinery, assembly lines, generators and many other types of industrial equipment. They’re found in wind turbines, radar and antenna dishes, and cable reels. They’re even used on theater stages and in surveillance and Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras.

A slip ring must come with a slip ring assembly in order for it to work. They are inseparable. What are the components and parts of a slip ring assembly? What does a slip ring assembly do? But, before these questions can be answered, we haveCapsule Slip Ring to first ask: What is a slip ring?

What Is A Slip Ring?

In short, a slip ring is a vital piece of equipment. It is an electro-mechanical device or piece of equipment that is used to transfer power, data and/or video signals from a stationary piece of machinery to a rotating piece of machinery. Slip rings can also transfer analog and digital signals.

In transferring this data and/or signals, slip rings can be large pieces of equipment that are found in industrial turbines or in the generators in hydroelectric power plants. Or they can be miniature, compact devices that are found in medical equipment and can transfer high-speed data and video.

What is a Slip Ring Assembly?

A slip ring is the primary part of a slip ring assembly. The slip ring assembly is the entire unit that causes the slip ring to actually work. This unit is comprised of additional, yet necessary components.

Slip ring assemblies move the power, data and/or video signals across the slip ring via a loaded contact finger, brush, spring, or ring. This medium upon which the data and/or power is sent is held in place by a holder as the rings rotate. These components are a part the slip ring assembly. The housing, if there is one, completes the unit.

What is Included in a Slip Ring Assembly?

Slip ring assemblies vary in terms of what can be included in the unit.

Listed below are the basic elements of a slip ring assembly.

  • The slip ring itself
  • The transferring medium, which can be a brush, finger, spring or ring
  • The holder, which keeps the transferring medium – brush, finger, spring or ring – in place
  • The housing, or casing, that encloses all of these components (if the slip ring assembly needs to be in an enclosed unit)

Slip RingSlip ring assemblies are manufactured as two styles:

  • Non-enclosed, or open, slip ring assemblies in which there is no housing for the unit
  • Enclosed slip ring assemblies, which are set in a galvanized steel or high-impact plastic housing

Enclosed Slip Rings

An enclosed slip ring assembly is particularly useful when the unit is situated in a hazardous location and an explosion-proof or heat-resistant casing is necessary. 

There are four types of enclosed slip ring assembly housing units:

  1. Wrap-around enclosure
  2. Revolving unit
  3. Swivel unit
  4. Custom-made enclosure

The housings of the enclosed units have additional components that are specific only to enclosed slip ring assemblies. What these components are varies depending upon the type of enclosed slip ring assembly needed.

These parts may include:

  • Rolled, brushed stainless steel casing or high-impact plastic casing
  • Accompanying flanges/shafts that match the equipment into which the slip ring assembly will go
  • Drive brackets
  • Gasketing for a tight dust seal
  • Breather drains (that decrease condensation within the revolving unit)
  • Heater strips (that decrease condensation within the revolving unit)
  • Conduit elbow (for swivel unit)

Next-Gen Slip Ring Assemblies

The innovations with slip ring assemblies are growing to meet the needs of industry. Companies are demanding novel ways to transfer power, data and/or video more cheaply and more efficiently. BGB Technology is one company that’s designing new and innovative slip ring assemblies to meet this demand.

forj joysticksOne of BGB Technology’s innovations is the Optilinc Fiber Optic Rotary Joints (FORJ). These joints are a new type of slip ring assembly. They are being used in wind turbines and other applications that demand high-speed data transfer.

These fiber optic rotary joints require no contact for the transfer of data, yet are designed specifically to meet industry’s need for the high-speed transfer of data. FORJ are made of stainless steel and are impervious to dust and water. These units can also withstand extreme temperatures, vibration, magnetism, vibrations, and other disturbances.

Where Quality and Innovation Meet in the Hidden World of Slip Ring Assemblies

Slip rings are used in almost every industry and in a myriad of machinery. In order for these slip rings to work, they must have a well-functioning slip ring assembly with the proper parts, components, and housing.

With technological advances occurring at a breathtaking rate, it’s wise to use slip ring assemblies that are sound, durable and on the cutting edge of innovation. BGB Technology manufactures such high-quality slip ring assemblies. Contact us to learn more.

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