02 Sep Super-sized replacement for old gear drive
This apple packhouse had relied on one hard working gear drive since it was installed in the late 90s on its Compac 6-lane Sizer.
However wear and tear and its requirement to work constantly was putting the gear drive under immense pressure to perform.
With at least two breakdowns due to gear failure in the 2013 season the decision was made to replace this critical piece of plant.
“The sizer was required to move more and more apples at a faster rate and therefore the gear drive was working really hard, and it was just a matter of time before it gave way again,” Anthony from EQM says.
A Fruit sizer takes apples across a weighbridge and then sorts/sizes apples into lanes so it’s a critical part of any packhouse
“We went and throughly assessed the situation and came back and recommended a replacement geardrive from the STM range. This geardrive had the same foot print and shaft sizes so that the sizer would not need any engineering modifications to fit it. Along with this we could fit a bigger motor and still be well within the gearbox input power ratings.
We analyzed the different speeds the sizer needed to operate at and calculated the optimum ratio that would deliver the greatest efficiency and torque out of this size gearbox and motor taking into account that it was being operated by a Variable speed drive.
An STM AMP 100/2 Inline gearbox fitted with an 11kw motor was specified. With the existing drive still operational this allowed EQM to import the optimum ratio for this situation.
The benefits are all delivered in reliability because they now have a bigger motor operating at optimum speed through a stronger gearbox that under pressure runs a lot cooler This minimizes the pressure its put under and efficiently drives the sizer. All this achieved without having to change any mountings makes a happy maintenance manager.