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Load testing services for gearboxes, drive assemblies

Believing that load testing a gearbox and/or drive will ensure potential problems are identified before the unit goes back into service, SEW-Eurodrive will implement a state of the art system to load test up to 500kW power and up to 600,000Nm torque. Spin test or partial load test up to 1.5 megawatts will also be available.

In addition to load testing the gearbox, in most cases SEW-Eurodrive will be able to load test the entire gearbox, motor and swing-base assembly. This can be done as a shaft-mounted assembly, which closely replicates site mounting.

According to Daniel Dallari, SEW-Eurodrive’s sales and operations manager for Far North Queensland, the load testing facility will be a valuable addition to the new SEW-Eurodrive Service Centre in Mackay.

“SEW’s load testing capability will be the first of its kind in Queensland,” Dallari said. “Other gearbox repairers only spin test the overhauled gearboxes, and any potential problem will only be revealed after the unit is back in operation.”

SEW-Eurodrive collaborated with Melbourne-based company CNC Design on the load testing system.

CNC Design has extensive experience in GEARTest load testers for both industrial and wind turbine gear units in Australia and the USA.

GEARTest is a back-to-back set-up to test the gearbox up to 100 per cent full load with minimum energy consumption. The drive motor is connected to the gearbox undergoing the test. The output shaft of this gearbox is in turn connected to a special purpose SEW speed matching test gearbox unit, itself driving another motor acting as a generator. The principal is the same for both industrial and wind turbine gearboxes.

The test rig is controlled by an advanced motion control system, so the load cases and test sequences are flexible and can be adjusted to the specific test plan for each gearbox. This is set up and monitored via a user-friendly operation station.

Additionally, the specific software for sound and vibration measuring is integrated in the solution as required.

SEW-Eurodrive will conduct a number of tests to determine the condition of the gearbox during the load testing phase. The load test will load the bearings and gearing, avoiding gear mesh backlash that affects vibration analysis, ensuring FFT readings will identify any potential bearing, gear or shaft defect.

Loaded gear tooth patterns will detect potential misalignment, including misalignment caused by load, speed or temperature. A test protocol will be provided for each performed test and will remain both with the gearbox documentation and also stored electronically for evaluation later. Load testing allows for measuring noise and checking compliance with noise requirements.

SEW-Eurodrive also guarantees that all gear replacements will be manufactured with state of the art gear technology.

A benefit of completing this load test from the new service centre in Mackay will be that maintenance and service personnel can visit the facility to witness the load testing phase.

The 2000m2 service centre will allow SEW-Eurodrive to better support gear drive customers in Mackay and the surrounding region with their drive technology requirements.

The Australian division of SEW-Eurodrive is headquartered in Melbourne and is supported by a network of technical offices in Sydney, Brisbane, Townsville, Adelaide and Perth. A comprehensive service and technical support centre is located in Melbourne, and is complemented by production, service and assembly facilities in all mainland states.

Source: SEW-Eurodrive

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