March 11, 2019
Any type of conveyor needs a variety of major and niche components to operate efficiently at peak performance. One of the more important niche components of the overall conveyor structure is the shaft mount reducer.
Here we’ll take a closer look at the functionality of shaft mount reducers, why they're important to the workings of the conveyor and what considerations you should take when selecting one.
A shaft mount reducer is a helical gear that's enclosed on a conveyor line. It’s usually directly mounted on the input shaft, supported by the shaft itself as well as the torque arm arrangement. Ultimately, they work by transferring torque to the rest of the line.
Shaft mount reducers include various components such as:
Shaft mount reducers are very compact devices, making them ideal for surface conveyor operations. They're also fairly easy to install and change out due to their size and location on the conveyor.
Leading makers of shaft mount reducers include:
In the next section, we'll get into some considerations that need to be made when selecting a shaft mount reducer.
It's all about horsepower.
Yes, input horsepower is arguably the biggest factor in deciding which shaft mount is needed for a specific conveyor line.
The most common ratios are 5, 15, and 25, through the use of different diameter sheave wheels. Speed and the adjustment of speed are both major factors to consider when choosing the right type of shaft mount reducer, so be sure to check the spec sheet for this critical information.
Here's a look at some other key factors in selecting a shaft mount reducer.
The manufacturer matters when it comes to these niche components, as it's important to acquire a type of shaft mount reducer that isn't going to fail. That will only result in downtime and possibly even lost profits. As mentioned above, reputable brands include Dodge, Falk, Worldwide, and Browning.
All shaft mount reducer manufacturers will offer warranties on their products but it’s also possible that the supplier provides warranties as well, especially on reducers that are rebuilt or repaired.
It's not uncommon to acquire these parts with a one-year warranty on workmanship, which can be a nice value-added benefit especially for a small part that costs several thousand dollars new.
Shaft mount reducers, like any component, wear over time. The good news is that just because a reducer has worn past the point of serviceable performance doesn't mean you necessarily have to purchase a new one.
Rebuild kits are available for many of today's shaft mount reducers, which allows operators to restore them to their original tolerances and specs, using the original OEM replacement parts.
Therefore, it's not a bad idea to look into whether there are replacement kits available for the shaft mount reducer you're considering. It could wind up saving you time and money in the future.
Rebuild kits from Dodge, for example, are available in one of two versions. Level 1 rebuild kits consist of new seals, bearings, a gear case sealant, and shim kit. Level 2 rebuild kits consist of everything included in a Level 1 kit, plus shafts and pinions, and mating gears.
Kits are available based on reducer size and other factors.
Beyond brand, part quality and rebuild potential, one intangible that should be considered with any shaft mount reducer purchase is the customer service from the supplier or manufacturer.
Having the right partner can be a great asset in determining the type of shaft mount reducer that's best for your conveyor line. This is especially true since there are numerous variables to take into account with each purchase.
Not all suppliers and manufacturers are equal in this regard, so make sure you're doing business with someone that's just as knowledgeable and helpful as they are reputable.
Although shaft mount reducers are a smaller component in your conveyor line, you shouldn’t underestimate their importance in the performance of your operation.
The conveyor line is only as good as the sum of all its parts, and shaft mount reducers play a critical role in the overall workings. Make sure you review all the specs and choose wisely.