SEW-Eurodrive is set to offer load testing for gearboxes and complete drive assemblies at its new state-of-the-art Far North Queensland service centre in Mackay, which is due to open in March 2017.
Testing a gearbox and/or drive under load ensures that potential problems are identified before the unit goes back into service. The new test system at the Mackay service centre will be capable of load testing up to 500kW power and up to 600kNm torque. Spin tests or partial load tests up to 1.5MW 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 performed using a shaft-mounted assembly that closely replicates site mounting.
According to Daniel Dallari, Sales & Operations Manager for SEW-Eurodrive in Far North Queensland, the load testing facility will be a great addition to the new SEW-Eurodrive service centre in Mackay. “SEW’s load testing capability will be the first of its kind in Queensland,” says Dallari. “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 CNC Design on the state-of-the-art 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 setup for testing a gearbox up to 100% 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 that acts 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. This means that the load cases and test sequences are flexible and can be tailored exactly to each gearbox. This is set up and monitored via a user-friendly operation station, and software for sound and vibration measurement can be 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 on. Load testing also offers an opportunity to measure noise and check compliance with noise requirements.
SEW-Eurodrive also guarantees that all gear replacements will be manufactured using state-of-the-art gear technology.
A benefit of performing the load testing from the new service centre in Mackay will be that maintenance and service personnel will be able to visit the facility to witness the load-testing phase.
The soon-to-open 2000 square metre service centre will allow SEW-Eurodrive to better support gear drive customers in Mackay and the surrounding region with all their drive technology requirements.
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