Motion System Design
Better by Design: Industrial gear drive

Better by Design: Industrial gear drive

Industrial gear drives operating in hostile environments such as coal mines and aggregate plants must be rugged enough to withstand dust, grit, and moisture, not to mention high vibration and punishing shock loads. Yet many of these drives suffer from leaky seals, weak grey iron housings, and excessive operating temperatures. Traditional drives are also big and bulky, eating up precious real estate in tight spaces. Yet another issue: Most of today's industrial drives have monoblock housings and can't be repaired in place, requiring trips to the repair shop.

New Falk V-Class gear drives from Rexnord Industries, Milwaukee, address all of these issues and more. As well they should: The development of these drives is the largest effort in company history. Based on more than 100,000 engineering hours and intensive Voice of Customer research, the V-Class engineers set out to correct many troublesome issues and create the most power-dense drives in the industry.

Engineers increased the strength and durability of the gear teeth through a specialized peening process of the case hardened and ground gears. Ductile iron housing — which behaves similar to steel — is used instead of grey iron that tends to be brittle and fail under high loads. A horizontally split housing design, rather than monoblock housing, means that end users can service drives in the field.

To avoid overheating, natural cooling features are built-in and require no electricity or water. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) helped with the housing shape and lead to the use of cooling fins. An optional (patent pending) “DuraPlate” system further cools the drive by pumping oil out of the drive via a shaft-driven pump, cooling it through metal plates, and then sending it back into the high-speed end of the drive, thereby cooling the oil in the sump.


On display: Falk V-Class gear drive

Key features: Peened gear teeth for strength, durability; horizontally split ductile iron housing for easy maintenance; cooler operation with no need for electricity or water to cool drive, thereby extending life of gears, bearings, and oil

What it means to you: A reliable, easy-to-service gear drive for use in the harshest environments

What else: Improved power-density means drive takes up less space; Magnum no-leak seals reduce maintenance; bolt-on foot allows drop-in replacement of legacy and competitor drives; 15 to 10,000 hp; torque range to 3,020,000 in.-lb

Innovator: Rexnord Industries LLC
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