Bulk Equipment, Mining, Motors, gears, and drives

How does Regal Rexnord deliver brilliant backstops?

ABHR explores Regal Rexnord’s range of torque limiting releasable backstops and investigates the key factors behind their growing popularity within the Australian market. 

ABHR explores Regal Rexnord’s range of torque limiting releasable backstops and investigates the key factors behind their growing popularity within the Australian market. 

The backstop may be a small component of a conveyor set-up, but it can be a crucial determiner of safety and productivity within a conveyor set-up.

This is why companies across Australia, particularly within the mining sector, are increasingly turning towards Regal Rexnord’s range of backstops to ensure their set-ups have the lifecycle and modern features to keep their operations running smoothly. 

“It has been a combination of customers knowing our reputation within the market, especially regarding lifespan compared to competitor products and issues that they’ve had using other products,” Regal Rexnord’s Rex Sinclair said. 

“We’ve been engaged by several companies now to replace backstops by competitor brands which have failed or haven’t performed to the same standard as ours.” 

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ABHR spoke to Regal Rexnord about why its releasable backstops were proving successful in Australia, particularly in the mining sector. 

When a site needs to perform a controlled release under load due to stored tension in the conveyor belt or rotate a belt backward for maintenance and clearing, it can significantly impact the operators and the site. If workers needed to perform maintenance on a conveyor belt, they needed to release the stored tension from the belt, which was a timely and labour-intensive process.  

Belt clamps and chain blocks would be added to take the tension off the backstop and the backstop to be removed. The process can take up valuable time and expose operators to risk of injury.  

This was a familiar story for Sinclair and the team at Regal Rexnord, which is why they found a solution in Stieber’s torque-limiting/load-sharing backstop. 

Sinclair said while high-speed and low-speed releasable backstops were available, customers were particularly wrapped with the performance of the high-speed iteration.

Stieber’s RDBK high-speed backstop was developed with an internal torque limiter specially designed for use on the high-speed or intermediate shaft of the driving unit in multi-drive systems. This feature makes it a practical application for equipment like large, inclined conveyors, where two or more backstops share the reverse load. 

The RDBK unit features an internal hydraulic system and bearings supporting the backstop, enabling it to perform as many reverse rotations as required up to 150 RPM. According to the company, this is a crucial feature if a conveyor has a blockage, belt jam or overload, which needs to be fixed promptly to negate the impact of downtime.

Sinclair said the Stieber team had put much thought into creating a backstop to benefit the end user.

“The Stieber backstops have a major advantage over the competition due to its fully bearing supported design and high heat dissipation capacity, which allows it to slip when high peak loads occur, which may otherwise cause damage to conveyor components,” he said.

“The old process was a combination of heightened injury risk but also that it took quite a bit of time for workers to go through this process compared to what we have now,” Sinclair said. 

“With our current backstop, it is as simple as releasing the backstop with a hydraulic pump, which you can do within a matter of minutes or less, depending on the system. 

“It allows the operators to save a lot of time but also, importantly, enables people to do what they need to do safely. 

The compact backstop packs a lot into its design, with torque capacities of 5,500 Nm to 180,000 Nm across its 11 models. Regal Rexnord estimates the Stieber RDBK Backstop is capable of 3.5 times more torque capacity and up to 15 times more energy dissipation when compared to other similar backstops. It is also designed to last the distance with friction linings steeped in an oil bath to maintain the backstop’s functionality after long periods of inaction.

Integrated solutions

When Regal Rexnord and Altra Motion merged last year, it was tipped that customers would benefit from combining the two major powertrain solutions manufacturers. 

Sinclair said a vital factor of the merger is its enhanced ability to offer a complete drive package, which is rare in the sector. 

The company can provide a complete fit-out across the conveyor system using products from the Regal Rexnord brands, which includes Falk, Tollok, Marland, Svendborg Brakes and Stieber. 

“We can supply customers with a complete conveyor drive package from all our brands, and there is no one else in the market that we know of that can offer that,” he said. 

“It means the customer only needs to place the order with one company, and then we can guide them the whole way from commissioning to ongoing service and spare parts.” 

Sinclair said these factors enabled customers to trust they were getting a high-quality product, manufactured to a strong internal standard, with a significant knowledge base to support them. 

Regal Rexnord employs more than 36,000 staff, which includes an engineering team and overhaul workshops based in Australia. This was further bolstered with the addition of Altra Motion’s staff and service facilities in Sydney, Perth, Mackay and Newcastle last year. 

“Rexnord had a real strength in the gearing and coupling side of things while Altra had similar strengths in the clutch and brake side of things,” Sinclair said. 

“Our customers will be able to access a great depth of industry experience from across our team, providing them with the right solution for their application.” 

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