What you need to know about industrial power transmission drives

What you need to know about industrial power transmission drives
Photo: AntonMatveev, Bigstock

Industrial power transmission refers to a wide variety of products that includes;

  • Mechanical power transmission products
  • Adjustable speed drives
  • Electric motors.

Mechanical power transmission refers to components and products that are used in systems with actively moving parts rather than a system that is powered electrically. Products that fall under this category are;

  • Mounted bearings
  • Bushings
  • Sheaves
  • Pulleys
  • Belts
  • Clutches
  • Brakes
  • Couplings
  • Enclosed gear products

In combination, these products are used to transmit, generate, transform and control mechanical energy to be used in industrial automation.

What’s the purpose?

The purpose of these components is to make sure that your machinery is operating in the best condition possible. Think of your industrial machinery as a deck of cards; if one is faulty the whole system falls apart. Since each component is dependent on another, it is important to make sure that your components are of the highest quality and are the right choice for the job.

Each component is as important as the other. When you are looking at your machinery, don’t look over obvious components. Make sure all the following parts are in fine working order.

Belts

V-belts and synchronous drive belts are used in conjunction with sheaves and pulleys. Altogether these products reduce slippage that is common in manufacturing, agricultural and HVAC industries.

V-belts act as a transmission belt. When connected to a pulley, it allows the transmitting of the force from an engine to the ancillary components. These components cover the hydraulic pump for power steering, air conditioning, fan and water pump and the alternator.

Within a combustion engine, the pistons are moved from these mini explosions. The pistons are connected to rods that move them in a straight line that converts the power into the rotation of the crankshaft.

The V-belts uses the torque from the crankshaft to send movement to the vehicle via pulleys. This is what makes a vehicle move. If your transmission belt is faulty it can put a halt on your project.

Coupling

Shaft couplings come in two different main types; rigid shaft and flexible shaft couplings. Their main purpose is to join two shafts together. Normally couplings don’t allow for the shafts to be separated but there are some variants that can slip or disconnect when a certain torque limit is reached.

Ultimately a coupling is also a mechanical device that connects the ends of adjacent parts. Like most mechanical components or devices there are many different variations to meet certain requirements.

Muff/Sleeve coupling

This type of device consists of a bore that applied to the tolerance of the size of the shaft. Depending on the requirements it then transmits torque through the means known as a key. There are two threaded holes that lock the couple into position.

Split-muff/Clamp coupling

This variant has a sleeve that is made of two different halves of cast iron that are connected via steel studs or bolts. This model is mostly used with heavy power transmission equipment that is set at moderate speed. The advantages of this variant over others is that it can be assembled and disassembled without changing the position of the shaft.

Tapered shaft lock

Tapered shaft lock is a keyless shaft locking device that doesn’t require any additional material to be removed. This variant is more durable than using a key as when maintaining the component, it only requires a single tool and when it has self-centring balance rotation that means it would last longer than a regular key variant. The downside of using this over the others is that it costs significantly more.

Hirth

Hirth joints consist of tapered teeth on the ends of two shafts to connect the components and transmit torque.

HIC universal flexible shaft coupling

All HIC universal flexible shaft coupling is primarily used to transmit torque from one shaft to the other. It is common for the shafts to be misaligned as well when the torque is transmitted. As per the name flexible, they can accommodate for up to 3 degrees of misalignment and even some parallel misalignment.

Additionally they can be used to reduce noise and damped vibration within the system. The flexible coupling can protect the components of the shaft from the side effects of misalignment such as vibration, thermal expansion and shock loads.