Brevini UK integrates La Leonessa slew bearings and gearboxes for packaged drives
Power transmission specialist Brevini UK has used a joint venture agreement between its parent company and La Leonessa to add new slew bearing options to the slew gearboxes that it supplies to the marine and other sectors.
The resulting ‘packaged drive’ approach brings several benefits to UK customers, including a reduced number of interfaces for the machine builder to manage, pre- and post-sales support for the complete drive train solution and full technical assistance for the La Leonessa range of solid ring slew bearings.
“This all adds up to reduce costs and minimise risks for machine builders,” says Dave Brown of Brevini UK.
The original joint venture agreement was signed to formalise combined production of slew bearings in China, mainly for the rapidly expanding Chinese wind turbine market. The manufacturing site is located in the city of Yancheng, in Jiangsu Province, alongside existing Brevini Power Transmission and Brevini Fluid Power plants.
As well as high quality slew bearings for wind turbines the joint venture opened up opportunities in packaging planetary gearboxes and slew bearings as integrated solutions for applications like water treatment plants and large marine winches.
“This was an exciting development, and it is natural that the Brevini global sales network was tasked with responsibility of promoting the La Leonessa bearing range within certain sectors,” explains Brown. “However, in the UK the target sectors had only limited potential, but we saw a great benefits of adding slew bearings to the slew gearboxes we were already supplying. This adds value to our products and also reduced the engineering requirements on our customers because we ensure the integration and interface between the two elements.”
In fact, Brown says that the slew bearings used in the UK are all manufactured in existing European plant, rather than the new one in China which is primarily covering non-European demand.
The La Leonessa slew bearings are well regarded throughout the world and can be specified to match individual application requirements. They are produced in sizes from 300mm diameter to an astonishing 4,000mm diameter in a range of materials to suit different applications. Design variations include single or double row ball bearings or roller bearings, internal or external gearing or no gearing.
Many existing installations, in the UK and elsewhere, already match La Leonessa slew bearings with Brevini slew gearboxes, and as Brown says: “The new partnership means that Brevini UK can now fully support and supply the full packaged drive system for slewing applications, as well as exclusively representing the solid ring slew bearing range of La Leonessa within the UK market.”
He sums up the user benefits as: “A more integrated product reduces the need for on-site engineering by the customers and thus avoids many potential mechanical problems. Costs are reduced because efficiency and effectiveness increase. Time is saved through faster delivery and improved communications. The total system can be tuned and optimised for best performance and maximum reliability.
La Leonessa was founded in Italy in 1970 to produce slewing rings primarily for the construction equipment market. Since then it has steadily expanded into new sectors, including the wind turbine sector in 2005. Brevini Power Transmission is 10 years older and also has its head office in Italy. It is one of the world’s top ten manufacturers of planetary gearboxes and mechanical transmissions for industrial applications, mobile machines and wind generators.
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