Technical Blog

What are Slip Rings used for?

Slip rings are a mechanical device that allow the transmission of electrical power and signals from a fixed point to a rotating device and are used to simplify the operation of a system or improve its mechanical performance. Slip rings are used across many industries including construction, agriculture, aerospace, packaging and medical/pharmaceutical.

All types of slip rings have various unique features to ensure that they are well suited to a variety of applications. Slip rings are typically used within applications where there is unrestrained, intermittent or continuous rotation and power/data needs to be transmitted. Slip rings are also commonly used to neatly compact messy and interfering wires, which may be present when using other types of components which require rotation.

Incorporating a slip ring within your application can provide many benefits:

  • Cost-effective
  • Reliable
  • High quality
  • Long life
  • IP protection rated
  • Well suited to extreme environments
  • Variety of sizes available


Slip Rings Applications

Slip rings are commonly used in various applications including:

  • Video systems
  • Moving head projectors
  • Capping machines
  • Automatic machines
  • Control systems
  • Machine tools
  • Wind turbines
  • Medical systems
  • Packaging
  • Bottle labelling machines
  • Robots
  • CCTV Systems

Moving Head Projectors

Moving head projectors, also known as intelligent lighting or moving lights, are most commonly used in theatres and Shows. They are equipped with a variety of different motors to help manoeuvre them when the requirement for quiet, smooth and high-speed movements (such as tilt, pan and focus) are a necessity. In cases where it may be necessary to have more than one turn in both directions for making the moving head projector more flexible, slip rings become mandatory.

To control the motors and sensors it is necessary to run the cables through the pan movement. To avoid cable damage to the moving head projector it is necessary to use a slip ring on the pan axis.

Wind Turbines

Slip Rings are a good solution to avoid cable twisting whilst currents pass through the pylon of a wind turbine. As a result, the pod located at the top of the pylon can freely rotate depending on wind direction. They are also able to transfer power from few hundred Watts to several dozens of Kilowatts, thus combining reliability and low-cost technology.

Bottle Labelling Machines

Bottle labelling machines consist of rotating carousels equipped with guides along the perimeter. The latter, thanks to either stepper or brushless motors, positions the bottles which have been placed on them in rotation. Each bottle is moved forward and spaced evenly through a screw conveyor belt and then transferred onto the carousel plate. The rotation of the carousel brings the bottles to the labelling station and subsequently to the exit. As this takes place the labels are picked from the warehouse, placed and wrapped around the bottles.

The label and moving process towards the bottle, and the plate/carousel rotation, are synchronised. All synchronisation is obtained thanks to servomotors, drives and a specific software loaded onto the motion control. Many of these components are located on board the carousel and rotate with it. A stainless-steel housed slip ring is required to transfer power supply, controls and fieldbuses from the stationary structure to the rotating one.


Slip Rings from Heason Technology

We have a wide range of slip rings available from our supplier Servotecnica. These are all available to view on our Slip Rings page. We have standard slip rings and customisable slip rings which are designed to deliver a flexible, cost effective, high quality and reliable solution. We have a range of sizes to suit applications where space is tight.

If you require more information on the slip rings we can offer, please contact us on +44 (0) 1403 792 300 or email sales@heason.com.

Alternatively, you can download our Slip Ring Catalogue.

Article published on: 15/04/2020