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`Intelligent` chain monitor is picked as a Millennium Product
Published:  01 October, 1999

`Intelligent` chain monitor is picked as a Millennium Product

An "intelligent" data-collecting chain link, developed jointly by Renold Chain and the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, has been chosen as a Millennium Product by the Design Council. The scheme, launched by prime minister Tony Blair in 1997, is designed to recognise innovative British products and to showcase them at exhibitions around the world and in the Greenwich Millennium Dome.

The device, called the Renold Smartlink, collects load data from a chain while it is in service and can use this data to predict the life of the chain. Renold claims that this is the first time it has been possible to capture actual loads and stresses on a chain in real applications. Until now, it has only been possible to obtain detailed measurements of chain performance under laboratory conditions.

The Smartlink consists of a device the size of a calculator which is attached to a conveyor or transmission chain, and a hand-held remote control. Together, these components gather data which can be used to identify peak and shock loads on the chain, to measure stresses, and to calculate the optimum size of chain for an application.

Renold Chain suggests that the Smartlink, which has taken several years to develop, will improve maintenance and safety procedures, especially in heavy lifting, offshore and conveying applications.

The monitoring device is programmed to take appropriate measurements via the handheld remote control which transmits the instructions to it. The data collected by the monitor is sent back to the controller which stores it on a removable chip. This data can then be processed on site using a PC or sent to Renold for analysis.

Renold Chain`s managing director, Ian Trotter, says that the Millennium Product accolade "reflects an great team effort and is testament to the fact that Great British innovation is alive and well".

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