The introduction of Pressductor® technology based on the magneto-elastic effect led to a revolution in the accurate and stable measurement of force, tension, pressure and torque in the harsh environment encountered in heavy industries. Since the installation in 1954 of the first Pressductor roll force meter in a cold rolling mill, ABB has launched a number of new products for different applications such as strip/web tension measurement, weighing, torque measurement and flatness measurement and control.
]Over the years various technologies have evolved for the industrial measurement of force, tension, torque, etc., based on the use of different physical effects. In many cases strain gauges were considered to be the best solution. Strain gauge load cells, however, had their limitations due to sensitivity to high temperatures, electrical interference and their inability to cope with harsh environments.
In the early 1950s the R & D department of the Swedish Asea, the co-founder of ABB, was given an assignment to develop a sensor that could measure the torque in pulpwood grinders without the shaft having to be modified. Shortly after this, the electrical steel producer Surahammars Bruk, an Asea subsidiary, asked the R & D department to develop a roll force meter for their new cold rolling mill.
Dr. Orvar Dahle, a researcher in the company’s R&D department, had earlier been studying the magneto-elastic effect and its potential applications. He succeeded in applying this effect in the development of a new torque sensor, Torductor®, and a force sensor, Pressductor®. The first patent for the Pressductor technology was granted in 1954 (Sweden).
The very first Pressductor roll force meter was successfully installed on Surahammar’s cold rolling mill in 1954. The rolling force was 2,500 tonnes and each load cell had an overload capacity of 2,000 tonnes. At full load the load cells had an output signal of 10 W. As a curiosity it is worth mentioning that there are still some units in operation delivered in the late 1950s.