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Powerlign® Performance Torque Monitoring System for Coupling Applications

From the invention of the Fast®’s coupling – the world’s first gear coupling – to today’s high-performance couplings, Kop-Flex® has a rich industry background and a reputation for solving customer problems.


Faced with rising fuel costs and increasing environmental concerns such as Nox(nitrous oxide) emissions standards, torque-meters are increasingly being used to measure power, speed, and torque on critical rotating machine equipment.


Torque differentials can indicate performance problems such as blade fouling and over-torque can lead to coupling shaft or equipment failure. When performance declines, more fuel is burned and Nox emissions increase. Torque-meters provide a cost-effective method for diagnosing these problems early on so you can make the necessary adjustments to your system for a proactive maintenance plan. 





Key Benefits

  • All new, digital phase-shift, non-strain gauge system

  • As a single source supplier of couplings and torque-meters, Kop-Flexeliminates coordination and design integrity issues that occur with multiple suppliers

  • Simplicity of design reduces margin for error– with accuracy within ±1%

  • Safety and reliability – unlike other torque measuring devices, no electronics or electrical power is present in the coupling or in the coupling environment

  • Seamless integration – connect the Powerlign conditioning unit directly to a DCS like the DeltaV system or others running public or private MODBUS protocol, reducing the cost of setting another box or training your operator to use a new system

  • Retrofit - For most applications, a new instrumented spacer can be inserted without disturbing the existing flex half couplings

  • Specially configured MODBUS communication protocol available to fit with your existing DCS

  • Significant cost savings – considering that a 40MW gas turbine consumes $8,000,000/year in 2003 fuel costs, a one percent increase in efficiency equates to $80,000 in annual savings

  • Aids in environmental compliance efforts by helping to reduce Nox emissions through improved fuel monitoring.

  • Completely interchangeable components and no need for re-calibration.

  • Highly flexible – fewer components, easier to install and no need to disturb or modify any vents, drains, filters, etc.

  • ATEX, CE and CSA certification for explosion proof sensors (Div I), intrinsically safe conditioning unit and display unit (Div II) operation.

  • RS-232 digital, RS-485 digital and 4-20m analog output.

  • Decreased lead times.

  • Reduced wiring cost.

  • Uses existing coupling guard.

  • User configurable imperial inch or metric (SI) units.

  • Built-in, automatic temperature compensation; sensors operate at temperatures as high as 350° F (177°C) to accommodate the most demanding environments.


Powerlign and Powerwheel Covering a Range of Application

Powerwheel features the same patented design as Powerlign in a smaller footprint with a specifically profiled double-sided wheel, where teeth mounted to the outer diameter of one wheel move relative to teeth mounted on the mating wheel. Similar to Powerlign, sensors detect this movement but instead, deflection occurs in profiled spokes in each wheel in combination with a short, tubular section that connects the wheels.

From Simple Diagnostics to True Control

As the only company in the world that has developed an integrated coupling-torque-meter the solution, Kop-Flex introduces the newly designed, digital Powerlign Performance Torque Monitoring System.


As the most reliable, accurate torque-meter available in today’s marketplace, the digital Powerlign replaces the proven, analog Powerlignthe system that has served the market for the last ten years.

Powerlign features a patented, unique architecture that allows for more advanced system control with full integration support for distributed control systems (DCS) or PCs and laptops for analyzing system data.


Powerlign acts as an important part of a closed loop system by establishing certain thresholds that can be configured to trigger an alert or alarm. Powerligncan also be used as a control system to shut down equipment or direct them in the flow of gas or fuel to maintain load and efficiency.


No Other Torque meter System Offers Consistent Accuracy

The accuracy rating is determined as a root sum of the squares series of all the individual errors possible, both electrical and mechanical.The mechanical inaccuracies include allowances for the inevitable movements of the coupling in relation to the guard-mounted sensor, during hot and cold cycles of equipment operation. These are the radial gap and axial movement errors. Other mechanical errors are possible from the various calibrations and set-ups. Electrical items include sensor variation and conditioning unit variation. Note that because these errors are included in the overall budget, sensors and boxes from the factory or stock can be swapped out in the field without degradation of accuracy. Powerlign and Powerwheel are accurate to within one percent.

The Origin of Powerwheel

To develop Powerwheel, Kop-Flex modified the same, proprietary, numerical analysis used for Kop-Flex diaphragm couplings then proved the design software with FEA, R&D and field tests. One back-to-back test connected a Powerlign torque meter directly to a Powerwheel torque meter, loaded with torque at high speeds. Each meter had a Separate probe and an independent electronic system. Correlation results were excellent, within 0.3% of full-scale torque.

How Powerlign and Powerwheel Work

Mechanical wheel or spacer – Powerlign includes inter meshed, pick-up teeth mounted on a spacer on the coupling. The applied torque causes the spacer and wheel, to torsionally deflect, resulting in torsional twist. In the Powerwheel design, the “twist for torque” measurement occurs in a compact, specifically profiled double wheel, where teeth mounted to the outer diameter of one wheel move relative to teeth mounted on the outer diameter of a mating wheel.


Sensors – two, monopole sensors, from reference points on the wheel, pick up this torsional twist. The sensors are mounted on the existing coupling guards by welding a boss plate to the guards, hence they do not rotate with the coupling and the pick-up teeth. Thesensors are inserted into the boss plates and the gap is set with a depth micrometer or feeler gauges. The boss plate orientations are usually installed at a 45° angle to avoid conflicts with drainpipes, vents, etc. As each set of teeth passes the sensor, a waveform is created.




Conditioning unit – the waveform is transmitted to a processor within the Conditioning unit, which translates the twist into torque based on a series of measurements and constants. It also monitors the coupling’s speed and temperature. Internal circuits continuously use temperature information to automatically compensate for temperature-associated changes in coupling stiffness. Because processing occurs close to the sensors, greater accuracy results due to reduced wire transmission. The conditioning unit is mounted within 500 feet of the sensors and transmits data via cable, RS- 485 and a public MODBUS protocol (an industry standard format, recognizable by most DCS). Powerlign can also be configured to transmit data over wireless networks or other communication protocols. (Contact Kop-Flex for details.) The conditioning unit also automatically checks and corrects itself every 24 hours for any electronic drift, eliminating the need for field calibration.


Standalone display unit – the standalone unit receives the digital signal and displays (but does not store) torque, speed, and temperature data at approximately one-second intervals. Powerligncan transmit 4,000 feet whereas competitive designs only transmit up to 1,000 feet. This provides a greater range for signal transmission to the standalone display unit or the DCS, eliminating the need for expensive, cross-site cabling and providing flexibility in locating the diagnostic system. The display unit provides RS-232 digital and 4-20 mA analog output signals.


DCS (in lieu of display unit) – the conditioning the unit can connect directly to your DeltaV or other DCS, via RS-485 cable or wireless (as an option) using public or private MODBUS protocol.



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