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Case Studies

Unique Design Solution for the Steel Industry


A leading Midwestern steel bar producer had a problem - one of their roughing mills, reducing billets to steel bars, was experiencing continual breakdown problems resulting from the design of its 45-degree bevel gear sets. The line consisted of six sets of mill rolls, each driven by an AC-motor through reduction gears; the motor and primary gear reducer were horizontal, while the mill pinions were at an angle of 45 degrees above horizontal; and the spiral bevel gear set used to produce the necessary angle was designed with a long bearing span on the bevel pinion shaft. This arrangement had resulted in numerous shaft and gear failures in the years since its installation.


One of Philadelphia Gear's Regional Service and Manufacturing Facilities had been servicing the plant for over 10 years, providing consistently responsive maintenance in getting these units back online, despite that the original drives were not manufactured by Philadelphia Gear. Given the opportunity to replace two of the finish-end drives, Philadelphia Gear provided the steel producer with the necessary drives within the existing configuration, performing without problems.

Unique Design Solution for the Steel Industry
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The Problem

As the shaft continued to break on the bevel gears, Philadelphia Gear Regional engineer Bob Johnson, and Technical Center engineers Bill Clifton and Steve Luchetta were turned to for a solution. This dynamic - teaming local personnel who were very familiar with the drives in question as well as the demands of the plant, with world-class engineers - afforded Philadelphia Gear a unique opportunity to solve the customer's problem.


The Solution

Philadelphia Gear recommended the customer replace the first three stands (which were also the most heavily loaded) with specially engineered drives aligned to the angle of the mill rolls, eliminating the need for the bevel gear set.


The technical team designed an extremely unique drive to fit a very tight envelope, at the same time upgrading the mill's power level by 60%. The new design incorporated primary and secondary gear reductions and mill pinions in a single housing, while still fitting in the space of the previous drive. Each of the three stands had a unique gear ratio. Thus, the capacity had been designed into the smallest primary gear reduction to maintain the maximum number of common components between the drives.


Philadelphia Gear was able to design and manufacture these custom gear drives in less than half the industry average time in order to install and start up the line during a two-week shut down window.


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Steel Industry Design Solution

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