How to Avoid Failure and Downtime: Gear Drive Specifications

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Gear drives are fundamental across a wide variety of processing operations, connecting the prime mover to the driven equipment and ensuring that the system has enough torque to effectively move the product. Correctly specifying and selecting the proper gear drives for critical applications leads to reliability, greater uptime, and profitability.
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The user and the system designer must be familiar with the variables that affect performance and service. Similarly, a gear manufacturer must understand what purpose the drive will be used for, the demands that will be placed upon it, and the nature of the equipment it will be driving.
Some of the factors that enter into the selection of a gear drive include:
  • Service factor
  • Drive rating
  • Thermal capacity at the site’s ambient conditions
  • Speed variation
  • Equivalent horsepower
Careful evaluation of these factors is required to make the right decision. Tooth surfaces that show signs of wear or pitting should also be taken into account. These are clear candidates for future preventive maintenance programs. Gear tooth fractures will not only put the gear drive out of service, but could possibly inflict damage to both the bearings and the shafts.
There are also a number of imperatives to consider even further when specifying a gear drive for your operational needs. A few of these include:
  • Load and speed
  • Ratio
  • Configuration
  • Service Factor (SF)

Specifications that are provided to the manufacturer affect the size and cost of the gear drive that is selected. Generally, the cost will increase as the number of requirements increase. Therefore, it’s best to specify the basics and only specify additional requirements if they are absolutely required to successfully run the application.

For more information on Rexnord Gear products such as installation manuals, videos and product specifications, click here.

Robin Olson

Robin is the Director of Applications Engineering at Rexnord Industries, Gear Group. In 1995, Robin joined Falk, which was acquired by Rexnord in 2005, and has previously worked in the Engineering Technical Services, Warranty, Product Engineering, and Marine Product groups during her career.  She is active in the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA), acting as a contributing member of the Helical Gear Rating Committee, Chairperson of the AGMA 925 (Gear Surface Distress) subcommittee, and is honored to act as US delegate to ISO Working Groups 6 (Gear calculations) and 15 (Micropitting).  Robin holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse and a Master of Science in Physics from the University of Wisconsin - Madison.