Food Safe Torque Limiter Retrofit

A maker of cured meat snacks was using a series of studded wheels positioned along a shaft to pull sheets of jerky through a processing machine. Problems arose when the jerky became stuck in any one of the wheels. Although the process was monitored by an operator and the jams could be cleared within a relatively short period of time, the resulting torque spikes were causing damage to other components in the drive system.

With axial space at a premium, Mach III designed a custom torque limiter that is completely enclosed, constructed of stainless steel and uses only 3.8 inches of axial space. The torque limiter is bored to 1.0 inch and slides directly on the drive shaft and is connected with a key and set screw. The studded wheel slides over the pilot of the torque limiter and is bolted to the unit’s face.

The drive plate and friction disc surfaces inside the torque limiter are pressurized by a disc spring that is compressed to transmit a fixed torque amount of 600 pound inches (+/- 10%) from the drive shaft to the studded wheel. When a jam that produces a spike in torque in excess of 600 pound inches, the surfaces slip against one another, allowing the wheel to slip and preventing the torque spike from transmitting to the drive shaft.

Because friction torque limiters do not disengage upon overload, the operator simply clears the jam and the studded wheel immediately resumes driving. No shut down or reset is required.