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Maximises drive optimisation: the drive to continually improve plant operating efficiency levels and reduce energy consumption levels and their resultant costs, by fitting today's higher output, more efficient motors, is still being restricted by the selection of the 'V-Belt' drive, based on old style belt specifications and not the latest belt designs. PWE reports.

V-Belt drive systems have often been thought of as unreliable, expensive to maintain and inefficient to operate; with some operators thinking, that it would be far better to swallow the exceptional cost of converting their 'V-Belt' drive systems over to 'Direct Drive', while many others, wrongly assume, that by fitting 'synchronous belts' they will also solve all their V-Belt problems.

Today, the facts are, that the technology, design engineering and advanced materials built into the latest 'V-Belts', especially when properly specified, fitted and maintained, can now operate at efficiency levels of up to 97%, which ensures the higher, more efficient energy output levels designed into today's motors, is fully delivered through their correctly specified drive belts.

Speaking to Optibelt, a designer and manufacturer of fully integrated 'Rubber & PU' power transmission, timing, conveyor, cleated and linear positioning belts, reduced plant productivity and efficiencies, along with increased energy consumption and unplanned maintenance, including actual 'V-Belt' drive failures, can all be caused by a variety of factors, most of which fall into the three main categories of original belt selection, poor fitting, and poor or lack of maintenance.

These issues such as pulley misalignment, groove wear or incorrect tensioning lead to highly inefficient belt drives, higher power consumption, reduced plant output and significantly accelerated belt failures.

Users, Specifiers and OEM's today, should speak directly to the belt manufacturer well before proceeding to design, upgrade, or indeed re-design an existing motor unit, machine, or operational plant build, as the technology, performance and material variants available to a belt manufacturer, are not only extremely diverse, but constantly improving, especially in cases where in the case of Optibelt for example, as part of its global services portfolio, will often design, test and produce an optimised drive belt, tailored to that user's / OEM's exact application.

Where plant and equipment are already in the field and subject to belt drive performance issues, maintenance problems, site operating efficiencies, even outright belt failures, more often than not, their causes are the direct result of a wrongly selected / originally specified, poorly fitted, incorrectly tensioned, mis-aligned and maintained drive belts. With the right advice, products and tools, all of these issues can quickly and efficiently be solved on site and to the full restoration of the belt drive's optimum operational levels.

Consequently when looking for energy efficiency improvements in V-Belt drives, rather than thinking about replacing them, consider the better option of optimising them.

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Optibelt's 'Super X-Power' V-Belt range is a 'moulded cogged--raw edge wedge belt' profile, designed and developed to deliver maximum power output in the more difficult and extreme of plant and machinery operating conditions.

Super X-Power belts are constructed with high specification materials, including a fibre reinforced belt substructure and extremely low stretch polyester cords, all with excellent heat and oil resistance, giving more dynamic and effective power transmission, very low maintenance and an added benefit in overall belt weight and energy saving.

Each belt is individually ground on its flanks, to ensure smooth running and precise length tolerance, meaning that as well as 'single belt' applications, these belts can be used as "matched sets', without any further measurement being required.
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Title Annotation:Application Story
Publication:Plant & Works Engineering
Date:Sep 1, 2013
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