European-style speed reducer gains traction in USA

27 July 2010

Some American machinery builders are providing a new market for the shaft-mounted speed reducer, which follows the European design concept of motor-gear combination.

Baldor's Torque-Arm II motor and gear combination.
Baldor's Torque-Arm II motor and gear combination.

Concrete Equipment Company (CON-E-CO) is the first American OEM to standardise on the new Baldor-Dodge Motorized Torque-Arm II (MTA) shaft-mounted speed reducer. The company took delivery of the first units as they came off the assembly line.

CON-E-CO, located in Blair, Nebraska, and a subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation, manufactures a line of portable and stationary concrete batch plants. The company custom engineers the machinery for mixing concrete, and uses a lot of electric power and power transmission systems to move conveyor belts through the system.

The company’s engineering manager, Don Hansen, says it has used Baldor-Dodge bearings and Torque-Arm reducers for many years, and they were very comfortable adopting the new Motorized Torque-Arm II.

‘Because of my experience with the original Torque-Arm product, I understood the level of engineering that went into the new MTA,’ says Mr. Hansen. ‘When we saw the capabilities of the MTA, we knew this was the right product for us.’

The new design has no exposed sheaves or V-belts, which adds an additional level of safety to the product. "Our company is proactive on safety issues, and this product fits into our efforts to provide a safer product," he explains.

Space is important
Because batch plants are highly mobile, space is a prime commodity, which makes the compact MTA an ideal choice. "It's powerful, but it takes up less space," says Mr. Hansen. "It fits into some of our smaller spots on the batch conveyor, and this works so much better for us."

Recently an international customer purchased eight CON-E-CO plants and requested the new MTA be used on the equipment.

Mr. Hansen says European customers are used to seeing this style of unit. ‘When they realised that we were using MTA on other systems, they made the request that we include them on their plants,’ he continues. ‘I wasn't surprised because this style of product is readily acceptable. Plus, we all feel comfortable because this is a Baldor-Dodge brand product."

The Baldor-Dodge MTA shaft mounted speed reducer is a right-angle gearbox with a flanged motor interface, specified for use with two-pole or four-pole motors. A choice of 12 gear reduction ratios and three case sizes allows the unit to deliver a wide range of speed reductions from 18:1 to 75:1 for class 2 applications from 3 to 55 kW, with very high efficiencies up to around 95%.

The new MTA has been optimised for robustness, offering considerable advantages over comparable gearboxes designed in accordance with European design practices. The reducer is rated to meet the 6010 AGMA (American Gear Manufacturers Association) standard. This specifies a Class 1, 5000 hour L-10 bearing life, approximately twice as long as comparable DIN design practices.

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