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Constant Tension Device with Vertical Linear Slide Assembly

(Model 4810V-TC820)

Coil winding is a process that needs to be fast and accurate. The quality of the coil winding has a direct impact on the coil’s performance in an applications. Heavy duty machines require the coils to be of a particular shape, and with a specific amount of tension. In traditional coil winding operations, many a time, the coils are pounded or formed to accomplish this task. The result of this would a lot of time consumption, the use of specialized manual labor, and expensive tools and materials, and immense expenditure.


Armature Coil Equipment (ACE) saw an opportunity to design a product that could not only eliminate these issues, but produce quality wiring for heavy duty machines. The result of this was the Model 4810V-TC820. This is an automatic tension system, which is designed to apply constant adjustable tension to single, multiple, and rectangular wires. The system can also be used to provide tensioning to ferrous and non-ferrous foils.

The system assists the operator in producing layer wound coils with constant tension. The use of this system leads to high operation speeds, less tensioning time, and less wire per coil. Model 4810V-TC82 is the ideal system for providing tension to coil winding operations for rotors. The tension system is also known for its versatility. It can be configured with other ACE winding components to produce complete coil winding and tension systems.

Device Design

Unlike ACE’s other machines, this tensioning device consists of a vertical lift mechanism. The mechanism consists of a pneumatic cylinder. Pneumatic air lines provide air pressure to the cylinder. The mechanism also consists of two ports, which are used for specific reasons. The first port is used as a preset to restrict the vertical mechanism’s speed of travel. This port is an ACE original, and requires a specialized tool to adjust. The second port is a standard flow control port. Personnel responsible for maintenance and repairs can use this port. Operators can also use the port to change the speed of the mechanism.


The mechanism is controlled by a foot pedal, which is also pneumatically operated. The pedal is capable of latching or stopping at three different positions or levels – neutral, up, and down. Neutral is the only position where if the operator removes his foot from the pedal, the mechanism will be stay at one place. If the operator removes his foot from the pedal while the mechanism is in up or down position, it will continue to move in the direction of the pedal position.

The tension device comprises the following mechanical components:

  • Converter
  • Tension plates
  • Tension sensor
  • Tension controller
  • Pneumatic actuator
  • Wire guide roller

Each component is designed to perform a particular task:

  • The converter transforms an input signal in the form of an electric current into a proportional pneumatic output signal.
  • The pneumatic actuator provides the necessary pressure to the tension plates during the winding process.
  • The controller receives the input signal provided by the tension sensor, and amplifies it for the rest of the operation.
  • Once the winding process has been completed, the tension on the plates is alleviated, allowing the operator to remove the conductors from the machine.
  • The device also consists of two steel guide rollers, which are installed on the front as well as the back of the housing. These guide the wires in and out of the device.

A unique component in the design of this machine is the LVDT type tension sensor. It is used to convert wire tension into an electrical signal. This allows the sensor to provide precise tension measurement. The sensor’s mechanical design ensures that it can maintain its performance even in situations of high overloads. Also, the sensor does not require any kind of calibration or maintenance.


The operator begins by entering a set tension point into the controller, and then the machine commences the operation. The winding process begins, and the wires are pulled through the tension plates. The tension system’s mechanical components are mounted on linear slides. Each linear slide assembly allows for quick, smooth and accurate movements of each component, thus enabling the high performance of the tension system.


The tension housing creates a certain amount of force while moving toward the sensor. The tension sensor measure the amount of force, and sends a signal to the controller. The tension controller compares the set point tension against the actual force, and adjusts the force created by the tension housing. Also, the converter translates the signal and sends it to the pneumatic actuator, which readjusts the pressure of the tension plate. This method, when performed continuously allows the entire system to maintain tension in real time.


The successful operation of the model 4810V-TC820 depends not only on the component quality, but also its assembly and component alignment. The specifications of the model are given below:

Maximum Tension

Up to 500 Lbs.

Material Capacity

AWG size 20-00 round, shaped wire and foil

Standard Spacing Between Guide Rollers

0 to 4ʺ (adjustable)

Tension Device Travel Distance



ACE supplies the model 4810V-TC820 with the following supportive devices and components:

  • Pressure Gauge
  • Pressure Filter
  • Pressure Regulator
  • On-off air Valve
  • Hoses and fittings for connections

Performance Features

To ensure that the tension system can meet every need, ACE has designed the system with a number of performance features:

  • Simple to setup, calibrate and operate.
  • Easy to read digital 16 LED control output tension display.
  • Tension correction at the push of a button.
  • Set tension directly from external sources.
  • Start level stored in memory for easy start-ups.
  • Stop level mode for quick stops reduces over-travel and tangling.
  • Start level mode to reduce stress on wire.
  • Interfaced with pneumatic actuator.
  • Password protected to prevent tampering.
  • The distance between the tension plates is automatically adjustable for various wire and foil thickness.
  • Provides tension correction for thickness variations and change in reel diameter.
  • Reduces stress on wire during starting and stopping.
  • Taper tension control.
  • Settings are stored in memory.