November 1, 2021

Speed ​​is one of the magnitudes that humans learned to measure a long time ago, thanks to their devotion to knowing how fast they can go. For this, he devised a series of laws, formulas and measuring instruments such as the tachometer, in order to achieve his mission.

Tachometers are a measuring instrument that we use very frequently in our day to day life, but that generally goes unnoticed before our eyes. A clear example is in your vehicle when you travel a distance that is measured by the tachometer and is reflected on your dashboard.

This is why, in order to know how this unique instrument works, it is necessary to break down each of the informative and qualitative aspects of the tachometer.

What is a Tachometer?

The tachometer is nothing more than a measuring instrument that is used in rotating elements, to determine the number of turns that it makes on its own axis and therefore, it is also accompanied by their speed.

The unit of measurement of the tachometer is the revolutions per minute (RPM), since you have to understand that revolutions mean turns, then it would be the number of turns that the element makes, for each minute.

The word tachometer has an origin in the Greek vocabulary, the prefix “Tacko” means speed or high speed and for its part, the suffix “Metron” is translated as measure. So, this is why I affirm that the tachometer is an instrument that measures speed.

The tachometer is a transcendental tool, since it is very useful to know the effort to which the engine is subjected once it starts to work, which is vital to ensure the durability of this element.

What is a Tachometer for?

The tachometer is an instrument that allows measurements of speed, specializing in the number of revolutions per minute that a rotating element has.

The variables that can be measured using a tachometer include the RPM of engines, turbines, the speed that exist on surfaces, among others. In addition, they are used to be able to make annotations of the different speeds of some of these rotating elements.

The tachometer is also a preventive instrument, since it is used to record the quality of the turns, study the properties and speeds of engines or turbines primarily. In this way, we can take different corrective measures, in case of detecting faults or, failing that, check the product warranties.

Finally, I can mention a function aimed at knowing the distances that are traveled by belts, wheels or others, which is what these elements do in vehicles.

How does a tachometer work?

The tachometer has an operating mechanism, based on the magnetic fields provided by a magnet. Well, within the structure of the tachometer there is a magnet, which is activated once the rotating element begins to rotate.

That magnet will work in conjunction with a transmitter, which sends the signals taken by the magnet. At the same time, a ring is rotating that is capable of generating another magnetic field.

It is the magnetic fields, with their force that move the needles on a scale of numbering revolutions per minute or send the information and this is reflected digitally on a screen. In some cases, they have an odometer to fulfill this essential task.

It must be understood that the unit of measurement is the RPM, however, on the scale a frequency measurement is marked that is multiplied by 1000. This is why the scale shows numbers like 1, 2, 3 … when the needle mark on the scale for example 8, it means that this motor or rotating element rotates at 8000 RPM, since this 8 is multiplied by 1000.

Uses of the Tachometer

Tachometers have a global utility, encompassing primarily all industrial fields. Well, it is an essential element in all machinery that has an engine in these environments, in order to determine all the qualities related to speed and revolutions per minute.

Its most daily use is related to vehicles , as you can find it in all of them without exception. Before it was only for sports cars, but it has already been extended to all models.

Tachometers have definitely achieved quite an interesting expansion around the world. And although it often goes unnoticed, they are a transcendental and universal element.

Tachometer Types

The tachometers have a wide variety, which have gained with the passing of the years and all usefulness in large industrial complexes.

The main types of tachometers are as follows:

  • Analog tachometer

The sensors or magnetic systems are going to move a complex of needles, who will be the ones that will make the marking on the numerical scale or odometer

  • Digital tachometer

The operating system is the same as the analog tachometer, only it does not use a complex of needles but the results are displayed on a screen digitally.

  • Mechanical tachometer

This is the operating system that was used in the early days of the tachometer, which relies on a series of magnets and gears to accomplish the measurement task.

  • Optical tachometer

In this case, its operating mechanism is based on a projection of light at a certain distance to be able to make measurements.

  • Contact tachometer

This type of tachometer has an attached piece, which is placed in contact with the surface to make measurements, the best thing about this instrument is that it is extremely accurate.

  • Electric tachometers

This model of tachometer has inside a transducer that sends the signals to be able to be displayed both in an analog or digital way.

  • Centrifugal tachometer

This is a particular system that was initially used in steam boilers. Inside the shafts are driven by a centrifugal force and they compress a spring which transmits signals related to the measurement.

These are the main types of tachometers, as the list is extremely extensive. What is important is to learn to identify them in order to determine the models that best fit the machinery.

Tachometer Features

The tachometer is an instrument that has a series of unique characteristics that define it and that differentiate it from other similar instruments, such as speedometers, for example.

Hence the importance of knowing all these properties in order to fully connect with the idea of ​​the tachometer. The main ones are the following:

  • It has a high precision in the measurement of both rotational and surface speeds.
  • It is the best ally when you need to determine the revolutions per minute of engines, mechanical parts or installations that have a rotating nature.
  • The measurements obtained are recorded within the software that the current tachometers have, to be sent later to the computers and thus subject it to more extensive studies.
  • Tachometers usually work using a battery system.
  • The tachometer can be combined with other elements to perform additional functions to the main one, for example, a totalizer that allows you to add the laps to know in total how many you did in a given time or distance traveled.

You may be amazed at how complete this instrument is and how in one way or another it can be a starting point for carrying out measurements or other functionalities at an industrial level.

Importance of the Tachometer

The tachometer has had an importance over the years, especially for the industrial sector, since it has made it possible to ensure the quality of its products, as well as to advance in the study and realization of these.

Well, the tachometer is capable of assessing the performance of a motor or rotating part , in order to verify that it is working correctly or how it had been designed.

Finally, its role in technological advancement in this field must be highlighted, because as its measurements are the object of study, many have given rise to the consolidation and construction of new knowledge, which is vital for industrial development.

History of the Tachometer

The tachometer is a contemporary instrument, it was born at the beginning of the 19th century, when a German named Diedrich Uhlhorn, created the first tachometer to be able to determine the speed at which the engines of a series of machines turned, this was exactly in 1817.

At the beginning it was a very rudimentary mechanical model, with which these turns could be measured and it was used in those devices that had centrifugal force as an operating mechanism.

The moments of greatest splendor of the tachometer were during the two Industrial Revolutions and the development of the automotive industries around the world, as it has become an essential part in all machinery and vehicle engines.

Currently, tachometers have diversified to the point that we find these parts equipped with a significant amount of technology, in order to solve all the needs in the matter.

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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