United Equipment Accessories was recently challenged with a crane slip ring application that had limited space, required extra sealing, and needed a larger thru bore than is typical for this type of application. To maintain the customer sealing requirements for a wash down and harsh environment, several slip ring components needed to be custom designed to fit.
UEA’s standard wrap-around aluminum cover would not meet the challenge at hand. A clamshell-style cover with gaskets was chosen to meet UEA’s customer requirements. The stainless-steel clamshell cover allows for removal of the cover in confined spaces and allows for inspection or maintenance while keeping oil and other harmful elements out of the slip ring. A custom, stainless-steel core retention tab was designed to retain the stationary core, and stainless-steel mounting brackets were designed to bolt to the customer’s rotating frame of the crane for outer retention.
Due to the height restrictions, several new components were designed using additive manufacturing. The wire harness exits for the core needed to exit from the side, so a custom core cap was 3D printed. The brush harness exits also needed to come out the side of the assembly, so a custom side-exit block was also 3D printed. 3D printed isolation disks has expanded UEA’s 6”-8” bore slip ring circuit capabilities to allow for a lower height communication circuit.
Because cranes can endure harsh conditions, the communication circuits were enhanced to improve reliability in these environments. The silver graphite brushes ride on plated silver rings that are much more resistant to corrosion resulting in more reliable communication.