Drive system conversions pay off for building materials producers

Continuous availability of production machinery is of enormous importance for building materials producers in maintaining their competitiveness. However, another important consideration is the continuous optimization and modernization of the company’s production equipment. In this context, it is worthwhile, in particular, to critically examine the drive systems of production equipment for their efficiency, productivity and energy balance – there are very often huge hidden potentials here for improving productivity and cutting costs. The assistance can be provided by a partner from the MRO field is illustrated by the example of Brammer GmbH, based in Karlsruhe.

As Andreas Lenz, Brammer’s Marketing Manager for Germany, notes: “Investments in conversion are only worthwhile if the modified machines subsequently generate benefits in the form of longer service lives, shorter setting-up times and greater energy efficiency.” Finding precisely the right product on the market, with exactly the properties and performance the company needs – and at a rational price – can often involve a large amount of time and effort, he affirms. “Mistakes can easily occur, particularly where procurement, energy-efficiency and spares stocking are concerned,” adds Lenz.

Here, a dependable MRO partner can ensure a trouble-free conversion process. Brammer has a proven track record as an expert in conversion and optimization and also possesses the necessary product and process competence, as the following example demonstrates: a company producing building materials commissioned the Karlsruhe experts for the conversion of a hammer mill from V-belt to toothed-belt drive. The twin-motor machine was incurring speed losses of 244 rpm during its working phase – almost 17 %, at a rated drive speed of 1430 rpm. It was necessary to fit new V-belts on average every six months. The new system would be required to achieve improvements in service lives, energy costs and setting-up times.

Brammer noted the data for the old drive system and extra-polated them with the assistance of a specialist. It turned out the motor, previously driven by eight V-belts, could be replaced by a model employing a much more efficient toothed belt and a corresponding toothed drive pulley.

The new system meets the customer’s requirements to the full: operating times of three years between maintenance reduce stockholding costs, since it is no longer necessary to re-equip the drive system five times each year. In addition, the new system’s 149 kg lower weight permits easier installation and shorter setting-up times. Above all, the elimination of speed losses achieves annual energy savings amounting to around 20 000 €. This alone means that the building materials producer will have saved some 60 000 € by the next scheduled maintenance shutdown in three years time – with improved machine productivity as an important extra benefit.


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