Proper Alignment of a Gear Reducer

Stop Gearbox Failure with Proper Alignment of a Gear Reducer

Do you know how to stop premature gearbox failure? Did you know that 80% of our new customers struggle with the same issue? It’s rigid mounting of hollow output gear reducers. Proper alignment of the gear reducer can prevent this issue.

In this STOBER Power Tips article we will talk about how gearing misalignment can be eliminated.

Problems with Hollow Output Gear Reducers and Conveyor Bearings

On most conveyor systems, hollow output gear reducers are mounted directly on the conveyor shaft. In many cases, shafts are not precision machined or ground, resulting in shaft runout. Conveyor bearings may also not be completely aligned. Both of these can cause shafts to be non-concentric to the reducer bore, which prevents proper alignment of a gear reducer.

Why Rigid Mounting Gear Isn’t Recommended

Typically, users will install the gear reducer on the conveyor with a pedestal mount or metal bracket. This fixes the gearbox to the conveyor and prevents the gear reducer from spinning during operation. However, this can cause premature failure due to shaft runout. Since the shaft isn’t truly aligned to the gearbox, it creates radial loads on both the conveyor and the reducer bearing. This pressure can cause the bearings to fail. In the worst case, it can fracture or break the conveyor shaft.

Prolonged overhung loads can be a major maintenance challenge, costing time and money. Some movement or wobbling of the gear reducer on the conveyor shaft is normal and should not be constrained.

Recommended Ways to Mount a Gear Reducer

The best method of mounting a gear reducer is a torque arm. It allows the gear reducer to float with the run-out on the shaft, eliminates bearing and shaft fatigue, and transmits the torque effectively.

There are several common ways to mount a torque arm to a gear reducer. Reducers can be supplied with a torque arm bracket or customers can choose to fabricate their own free-floating mounting assemblies. These include a turnbuckle, threaded rod, or fabricated stainless steel torque arm. A keyless bushing system allows the same gear reducer to be utilized on different size shafts by simply supplying a different bushing kit size.

Why STOBER’s Products and Services Are Better

STOBER gear reducers can be torque arm mounted. Using our keyless bushing system means you will never have to cut a reducer off the conveyor shaft again. Having a reducer that can utilize multiple bushing kit sizes also reduces the inventory you need.

We offer onsite installation training for your entire maintenance team and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for any questions. With an average meantime to failure of over 9.1 years in harsh washdown applications, we know how to make gear reducers that last.

Want to learn more about rigid mounting failure and how to eliminate it with proper alignment of a gear reducer? Download our free guide to find out how STOBER has helped a customer overcome rigid mounting below.

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“STOBER’s responsiveness is also a key plus. STOBER employees build and ship units in one day and give us quick answers on requests. I can’t think of a better way to meet customer needs.”

– Steve Nelson, Machine Tool Research, Rochester, NY