Choosing the Right Gearbox for Your Food Processing Application

  • Added:
    Jan 03, 2014
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Choosing the Right Gearbox for Your Food Processing Application Photo by Horace Goodspeed

In a food and bottling processing environment, the conveyor system has one and only one job – to run smoothly. When it does, products are produced and they company is able to earn revenue. When they conveyor system doesn’t function properly, it’s the bottom line that take the hit.

Conveyor systems are propelled by the use of gearboxes. And while there are many other components that make up an effective and efficient conveyor system, choosing the right gearbox – and thereby the right speed ad output torque for your assembly line – can mean the difference between productivity and lost revenue.

There isn’t a lot of differentiation between the ways different gearboxes work. They rotate either clockwise or counter-clockwise depending on the input direction and produce a certain amount of output torque that is defendant on the size of the gears, the number of teeth on the gears, and the speed of the shaft.  Gearboxes are the power source of the conveyor system so it’s important to understand your needs and get the right gearbox in place.

When selecting the gearbox that best suits the needs of your processing operation there are several factors to consider:

• What size gears do you need and how much space do you have?
• What gear ratio would optimize you conveyor performance?
• How much output torque do you need?
• How fast do you need your conveyor to move? Does it need to vary at times?
• What gear arrangement would provide the most efficiency for your process?

With the answers to those questions in hand, a reputable transmission expert can help make sure that you purchase the right gearbox for your specific food processing applications from a productivity point of view.
Another important consideration that needs to be explored when selecting the gearbox that will power your conveyor system is durability. The U.S. food processing landscape is rife with potential for expensive repairs. Bearing, chains, electric motors, and more, all need replacing from time to time, but no conveyor component suffers more wear and tear than the gearbox. Creating power and transferring it dependent on the workload is grueling stuff.

Flexible usage is another cost-saving consideration to make when choosing the gearbox for your application. Food and bottling processors can consolidate repair needs and even reduce the need for expensive repair by using gearboxes to replace the common need for pulleys, belts, chains and even bearings. Through creative design and application gearboxes can perform many of the functions that more traditional conveyor components once carried.

Lastly, but not least importantly, choosing a gearbox that is easy to maintain and repair is critical to making the right selection. When running light loads, it is not uncommon for gearboxes to work for long times with minimal repairs, but in most fast-paced food processing environments, this is not the case.  Ensuring that your gearbox has the accessibility to make quick repairs, and that you have the right tools on hand to do so, will help prevent the unwanted and costly system shutdown.

Author's Profile

Gearboxes and gear box accessories are essential components in conveyor systems, particularly in a food and bottling processing environment. Choosing the right gearbox, such as the Dodge APG, now Master APG, will help maximize the uptime of your machinery.

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