The 'no engineering' gearbox replacement
A heliocentric gearbox recently reached the end of its operating life at the Thames Water STW at Crawley. Thames Water was eager to develop a more economic solution rather than re-engineering the obsolete gearbox. However, replacing it with a new box would require remanufacturing the thickener's structure which would be extremely costly and time consuming. Thames Water turned to Brammer Plc. to help source a no-engineering solution.
Upon receiving the Sanderson E5FJ heliocentric gear box Brammer turned to Brevini to design a solution that would fit the thickeners existing structure. Brevini is the world's foremost manufacturer of planetary gearboxes and engineered planetary geared power transmission solutions. It recognises the importance of providing no-engineering solutions as this reduces costly downtime.
Jon Snaith, MD of Brevini UK, says: "Having worked with Brammer before we are known as a provider of efficient solutions that do not require costly remanufacture and downtime. We were able to design a no-engineering solution that utilised a planetary gearbox, modifying it to make it interchangeable with the obsolete Sanderson heliocentric gearbox."
Planetary gearboxes are capable of producing very large reduction ratios (they can reach 15,000:1) and produce up to 800 kNM of torque meaning that they are ideal for driving large slow moving rotors. Brevini gearboxes have a lifetime of over 100,000 hours when they are in constant use, keeping maintenance down to a minimum; one oil change per year is all that is needed. Each stage runs at 98 percent efficiency meaning that they are far more economical than other, traditional gearboxes.
Features of Brevini's planetary gearboxes include twin taper roller bearings and extremely high torque ratings, these ensure that they are capable of surviving in the harsh working conditions found in the water industry. In the water industry the drive systems are often working 24/7 and need to be extremely reliable. Brevini visits the site the gearbox comes from to ensure that its solution will fit where the old, obsolete gearbox was.
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