How Reliable Are Your Belt Drives?


Historically, we find it is often hard to justify improvements to belt driven equipment.

Squaling, slipping belts are often ignorned until they completely fail, causing significant production or safety loss. A variety of products ot 'hide' the problem are available and they often only make the problem worse. When arguments are made to do something about hte problem, the discussion often centers on the phrase "belts are cheap"... We'll just change them when they break.

So how do we justify applying Reliable Manufacturing techniques to belt driven equipment?

It's not really that hard.

  • We all know there are many causes of belt problems out there, including tension, pulley/sheave, wear, overload, contamination, overheating, etc. Nearly all of these end up causing slip.

  • We know that properly adjusted V belts slip between 2-5%. Anything more than 5% means energy is being wasted.

  • Using a strobe light (or tachometer) to measure the RPM of the driver, and the RPP of the driven allows us to calculate the actual slip occuring.

  • The slip is simply the difference between the theoretical RPM of hte driven and the actual RPM expressed as a percentage.

Now for the cool part (or hot actually)

  • If I have a 100 horsepower motor and 10% slip, how many HP are we losing? 10

  • Based on the latest government data (June 2013), industry pays between $0.1347/kwhr (MA) and $0.0416/kwr (LA). Depending on where you are in the country and what you pay for power, the cost is between +-$1408/hp/year and $469/hp per year.

  • That 10% slip on a single 100 hp motor is costing you at least $5,000 per year and problably more.

How many belt drive do you have? Do any of them squeal?

We have clients who have documented hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy.

For more details on calculating slip and how to prevent it, contact Reliability Solutions

#ReliableManufacturing #Tools

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