Acquisition speeds the slip ring revolution

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 1 August 2000



(2000), "Acquisition speeds the slip ring revolution", Industrial Robot, Vol. 27 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Acquisition speeds the slip ring revolution

Acquisition speeds the slip ring revolution

IDM Electronics is building a reputation as one of the largest and fastest growing slip ring suppliers in Europe. The market for its range of power and data units covers security, defence, aerospace, medical and a host of industrial applications.

There are many engineering problems where only slip rings can provide the solution (see Plate 4). For example, in an aerospace application, a heavy duty slip ring is used to transfer electrical energy to a propeller which has to be heated in icy conditions. A careful choice of materials has increased product life considerably. In a defence application, an electrical and optical interface provides the link between a vehicle body and a turret.

Plate 4 Acquisition speeds the slip ring revolution

In industrial applications, there are slip rings for boom cameras, CCTV security cameras and heated rollers for packaging machines. In the medical field, scanners demand faster data collection and in space, slip rings are needed to transfer electrical energy from solar panels to satellites. As technology changes at an ever increasing pace, so do the demands on slip rings.

Now, Kaydon Corporation, the parent company of IDM Electronics is pleased to announce the acquisition of Focal Technologies, a leading supplier of electrical and fibre optic rotary joints.

The acquisition expands IDM's capabilities in rotary electrical and fibre optic signal transfer by combining Focal Technologies' extensive line of fibre optic rotary solutions with the existing slip-ring product lines.

Established in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia in 1983, Focal Technologies has developed a complete line of fibre optic rotary joints, designed to transmit signals across rotating interfaces. Modulated laser light is projected onto a specially developed fibre that is able to collect sufficient light to enable a detector to pick up the signal. This technology has great potential and is expected to be developed for a variety of application areas.

There is also a line of multiplexers to allow the combination of multiple electrical and/or fibre optic signals into a single high-speed fibre optic cable. These devices and accompanying electrical slip rings have allowed Focal Technologies to develop a leading position in the offshore petroleum, oceanographic, seismic and maritime defence industries. IDM will offer units based on the same technology to customers in the defence, aerospace, medical, security and general industrial sectors.

IDM Electronics has also recently introduced the Velocity™ line of high-speed rotary data links. These are designed to transmit data from rotating platforms at data speeds of up to 2 Gbit/sec. The Velocity™ FORJ, an Fibre Optic Rotary Joint for transferring high-speed digital data in Medical CT scanners, was co-developed with Focal Technologies.

For further information, please contact Alan Meredith, IDM Electronics Ltd, 30 Suttons Park Avenue, Suttons Business Park, Reading, Berkshire RG6 1AW. Tel: +44 (0)118 966 6044; Fax: +44 (0)118 966 6524; E-mail:

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