Why did we select R+W’s SK2 torque limiter for TU Delft’s Hydro Motion team? A prompt from the student team presents a fitting opportunity to zoom in on R+W’s exceptional program and discuss its hallmark products. In this article, we therefor talk to Daan Loendersloot, International Sales at R+W Antriebselemente, about their high-quality Bellows couplings and torque limiter, as well as their intelligent couplings. What’s interesting to note about this German company is their dedication to quality and the unique customizability of even single unit orders.

TU Delft Hydro Motion

The 2024 TU Delft Hydro Motion team is a team of 23 ambitious students that want to push the boundaries of technology to create systemic change towards sustainability, focusing on the maritime and energy industries. In one year, they are designing, producing, testing and sailing a foiling hydrogen-powered boat The team consists of students with a wide variety of backgrounds, ranging from aerospace engineering to computer science and even technology, policy and management. This year’s hydrogen-powered boat will be the first ever foiling hydrogen-powered boat that crosses the North Sea from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom. The goal is to show the world the capabilities of hydrogen as a green fuel source in seaworthy vessels.

“The TU Delft Hydromotion Team reached out to us in search of a torque limiter. Promptly, we brought this request to the attention of VARIODRIVE, our distributor in the Netherlands for the past 25 years, due to their extensive expertise and ability to identify the best solution for the student team’s needs. After careful consideration, it was determined that the SK2 150 Nm coupling was the ideal choice to address the technical challenge faced by the team.”

About R+W SK2 torque limiter

R+W’s SK2 model stands out as a backlash-free, TUV-certified torque limiter equipped with a clamping hub and bellows coupling. It features a distinctive safety system that operates on the spring-loaded ball-detent principle. When the disengagement torque is reached, which in the case of the Hydro Motion team was set at the factory at 110 Nm, the coupling will disengage mechanically within 3-5 milliseconds and prevent damage to other parts of the drivetrain.

Notably, R+W torque limiters excel in precision, guaranteeing disengagement within a narrow margin of less than 3% from the factory-set torque, ensuring unparalleled accuracy when compared to the margin (up to 20%) that competitors offer. Moreover, unlike other torque limiters, R+W’s models are designed for longevity and efficiency, eliminating the need for replacement parts and maintenance post-installation, thereby offering a seamless and reliable solution for demanding applications.

“In practice, R+W customizes approximately 40% of its couplings to meet specific customer requirements. Clients collaborate closely with VARIODRIVE to pinpoint the precise coupling specifications that align best with their application needs. These custom specifications are then meticulously crafted by our skilled team at the factory, whether it’s for a single unit or more, and are delivered within a 10 – 12 week timeframe. Interestingly, for the Hydromotion team, a bespoke solution was not required. Our standard SK2 150 Nm torque limiter seamlessly matched their needs, demonstrating the versatility and broad applicability of our standard product range.”

Bellows couplings: BK and MK

Two series of couplings that VARIODRIVE also regularly selects for our clients are the MK and BK couplings. With the ‘M’ an abbreviation of Miniature and the ‘B’ for simply Bellows it’s probably not difficult to determine the difference between the two. Both are bellows couplings, but each are used in widely different applications. The MK has a range of 0.05 Nm to 10 Nm, while the BK ranges from 2 to 10.000 Nm, making the former more suited for use in applications such as encoders or with small stepper motors while the latter are often applied in applications such as automation, printing applications or the textile industry. Both are, of course, backlash-free, which is highly beneficial for precision applications and generally improves a system’s efficiency, accuracy and lifespan.

R+W Sensor technology: intelligent coupling

Facilitating the transition to Industry 4.0, R+W is now also manufacturing smart couplings that can be integrated into existing applications and are capable of measuring and displaying highly relevant data:

“Preventative maintenance is a big promise from Industry 4.0, and one that our technology is ready for. We are expanding our portfolio of products that will alert customers when there are, for example, vibrations that indicate a bearing wearing out or when there is dirt in the gearbox. It enables proactive identification of issues in the drivetrain and allows for pre-emptive part replacement to avoid breakdowns or significant downtime.

It’s innovations like these that our 15-person R&D and engineering department is focused on to ensure that R+W will continue to be the leading manufacturer of high-quality couplings for years to come.”

At VARIODRIVE, we are proud to represent R+W and use their (often customized) products in the solutions that we present to our clients. The SK, MK and BK series of couplings are the series that we most frequently select but the company offers a complete range of options for any application imaginable. Would you like to know more about our services or do you have a specific question in mind? Do not hesitate to reach out via sales@variodrive.nl or call 0186-636 280

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