Belt Drives The Smaller Things Do Matter


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If you are taking steps to cut energy costs (and who isn't), your focus may be on the big power hungry components of your application. That's understandable. But if you're doing so while overlooking the smaller elements, you may be addressing only half the problem.

As the pressure on industry mounts to reduce energy, from both an ethical and financial perspective, organisations everywhere are looking at their plants, processes and systems with ever closer scrutiny. Usually this scrutiny is focussed on the big items - but its often the smaller less obvious components of a system that are doing the real damage. In industrial plant for example, the energy-saving spotlight tends to fall on motors and inverters - while the other elements in the power transmission system are often overlooked.

This is often a false economy, as something as simple as a poorly specified or configured belt drive can easily wipe out other gains in efficiency from major - and more expensive - system components. In fact, a properly set up belt drive, used in conjunction with an inverter, can deliver a gain in efficiency similar to upgrading your motor to a more efficient model. Across a site, this can result in a saving of thousands of pounds each year.

Consider a single 55kW motor running on full load on a 24/7 basis on a tarrif of £0.08/kWh. That's over £38,000 per year, just for electricity. If drive efficiency is improved by just 5% (for example by replacing worn pulleys or moving to a synchronous drive) it will save £1,900 per year, plant wide such savings could mount up to something significant indeed.

How can you be sure that your drive systems aren't costing you more than they should? One way is to consult with your local Authorised Fenner distributor.

For example consulting with ERIKS, one of the largest suppliers of engineering solutions in the UK, can help you identify ways to achieve and maintain energy savings over the long term and minimise lifetime cost. This might be by doing something as simple as using a different type of belt at the next belt change or fitting a new set of pulleys, but rest assured your Fenner distributor will never recommend any change that doesn't offer a very fast, transparent payback plus savings.

Over the coming weeks we will be introducing to the S.C.I.E.N.C.E. of Fenner Power Transmission selection, using these basic principles we guarantee you will be able to achieve the optimum performance all the time, every time from your Fenner belt drives.

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