Renishaw launches a 'rocket' at MACH 2008

Riding a controlled explosion astride a snarling 1,500 horsepower engine

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See and believe

Case story image - rotary encoder - Salakazi RacingVisitors to Renishaw’s stand at MACH 2008 (hall 5, stand 5140) will be able to see Team Salakazi’s amazing KTM Super Twin nitromethane fuelled dragster which takes just 6.7 seconds to cover a 1/4 mile race track, achieving speeds of around 200 miles per hour. Aided by Renishaw’s rotary magnetic encoders that monitor crankshaft position and clutch speed, this 360kg ‘rocket’ generates 1,500 hp from just a 1995 cc engine.

Riding a controlled explosion

Not many people would even consider sitting astride a snarling 1,500 horsepower engine travelling at over 300 km per hour. But Jaska Salakazi from Finland has made a very successful career of it, becoming the first person in the world to break the magical seven-second barrier over a quarter of a mile on a Super Twin Top Fuel bike. So what gives him the confidence to take the bike to its limits, whatever the conditions?

Magnetic rotary encoder on Salakazi drag motorbikeSince 2000, the speed-obsessed six-man team at Salakazi Racing has continually designed, built and refined its KTM Super twin powered Dragster. A recent modification is the addition of two RM22 compact high-speed rotary magnetic encoders, produced by Renishaw’s partner company RLS d.o.o. in Slovenia. These measure clutch speed and monitor the position of the engine’s crankshaft, helping to take the bike to unsurpassed speeds. Within a split second the 1995 cc engine screams to 7,500 rpm.

Clutch slippage, traction and road conditions can all be precisely determined by comparing values from the encoders, providing the team’s technicians with the vital data to pre-program the bike and make final adjustments to the first stage counterweights before the race begins. Where milliseconds are crucial, the encoders enable the team to optimise clutch engagement and maximise speed and acceleration on the spot.

Magnetic encoders are critical to success

The team’s technology guru, Petri Mäkinen, is quick to recognise the importance of the Renishaw encoders. “We need to read the clutch speed even before the rear tyre has completed its first full rotation. The data they provide us with beforehand is critically important – we couldn’t obtain it or preset the clutch any other way. They’ve been such a success that during the next two years we’ll also use the encoders to control the ignition advance and adjust the cams”.

Visitors to the Renishaw stand will also be able to see new probing systems, calibration and encoder products that will speed up manufacturing processes and minimise the cost of poor quality for a wide range of machining and measurement applications.

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