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Custom designed gear units extend service life of mining equipment

Custom designed gear units extend service life of mining equipment

A manufacturer of log washer drives for the mining industry has increased the service life of its equipment and significantly reduced the cost of ownership by cutting downtime and maintenance, thanks to custom designed heavy-duty gear units.

Log washers are used in the mining and quarrying of aggregates to remove the earth that clings to the small stones and sort them into predetermined sizes. They are effectively long rectangular troughs, usually manufactured from steel plate, with two thick steel shafts that run parallel to each other along the length of the trough.

Steel paddles, attached to the shafts, churn the aggregate as it is washed in jets of water to remove the earth and clay attached to it. As the aggregate is churned by the steel paddles it is also moved from one end of the trough to the other and sorted according to size. The steel shafts, or logs as they are known, are what gives the washers their name.

The gear units on the log washers are critical components as failure results in the loss of production and a significant maintenance operation to remove and repair them. So when a major manufacturer of such mining equipment was looking for a new design of heavy-duty custom gear units that would provide greater robustness, reliability, and with a longer service life than those on comparable log washers made by other manufacturers, it contacted Renold Gears.

Working with designers at the log washer manufacturer, Renold Gears was able to design new units with an identical footprint to the incumbent supplier’s, but with features that made them easier to install and remove for maintenance. Better quality seals and bearings, and a higher grade material for the gears and shafts enabled Renold to predict a service life of at least 30 percent longer than the previous units.

Additionally, as a global supplier, Renold Gears was able to provide the benefit of being able to offer local support for customers around the world with readily available spares and service support. According to Roger Godson, commercial director at Renold Gears, the project demonstrates the company’s ability to provide custom gear solutions to mining and quarrying equipment manufacturers for the most demanding and arduous applications with real benefits to end customers.

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