The first system in the world to offer true remote, wireless monitoring of bolted joint integrity has been launched by James Walker RotaBolt® in partnership with wireless telemetry specialist Transmission Dynamics.
The RotaBolt®-TD system continuously monitors and wirelessly reports the in-service status of bolted joints, and can issue ‘tension-loss alarms’ via email or SMS (text message) direct to maintenance and operations personnel. It has the potential to revolutionise maintenance regimes particularly where important bolted joints are difficult to access because of location or operational environment.
"With the RotaBolt®-TD System, you will be able to monitor all the important bolted joints in an offshore wind farm from your mobile phone," commented Rod Corbett from James Walker RotaBolt, "it is going to have a major impact on maintenance costs across many different industries and applications."
Jarek Rosinski from Transmission Dynamics added, "RotaBolt®-TD is supported with state of the art instrumentation and data automation, and can be deployed with a full data management and reporting package. We know that it is a system that many have been waiting for."
Each bolt in the RotaBolt®-TD system contains micro instrumentation and a wireless transmitter. It periodically checks that bolt tension is within specified limits, critical to the integrity of the joint, and then wirelessly transmits the information to a local transceiver. This collects the data from any number of bolts and then transmits the report via the internet, or GSM network (Global System for Mobile communications), to a secure server.
The system, which has taken over five years to research and develop, allows for continuous monitoring of bolt tension and automatic report generation. It can deploy an alarm in case of a sudden loss of bolt tension below a predefined level, notifying authorised personnel globally by either email or text message. Each bolt contains a coin-cell battery which ensures five years of continuous unattended operation.
Transmission Dynamics provides services to blue-chip technology companies around the world and has clients in the renewable energy, mining, marine, defence, automotive and rail sectors. It designs and manufactures its own range of wireless telemetry and data acquisition systems for recovering in-service load information from the most demanding of environments.
James Walker RotaBolt has been at the forefront of bolted joint reliability since the 1980s, championing its bolt tension technology across a wide range of industries. Today its fasteners are used to assure bolted joint reliability in environments where pressure containment, vibration, fatigue and structural slippage are present.