Food and beverage processing facilities provide big challenges for OEMs and machine component manufacturers.
Factory-automated machines and conveyors have two basic modes of operation: running efficiently and earning money verses down and unproductive, losing money. Equipment downtime costs factories from 5 – 20 percent of capacity each year, according to Intech magazine.
Several components are culprits for maintenance and down time that is so expensive to U.S. factories: bearings, belts, chains, wiring, electric motors, and yes– gearboxes.
Gearboxes are high wear items, transforming power from electric motors (high speed, low torque) to the requirements of the load application (lower speed and higher torque). There is a general assumption in power transmission: “Speed is cheap, torque is expensive.” Using motors to generate high torques required by many loads (direct drive technology) is typically much more expensive than generating the torque with a motor/gear reducer combination.
High-efficiency gear reducers have many benefits. They reduce the heat generation, which prolongs a gear reducer’s life increasing the application reliability and reduced cooled space cost. Superior gear reducer efficiency also decreases total machine cost by allowing the use of smaller motors, and reducing energy consumption. Environmentally, efficiency means a reduced carbon footprint and lower electrical power consumption.