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Load testing at SEW Mackay service centre

SEW-Eurodrive will carry out load testing for gearboxes and complete drive assemblies at its new service centre in Mackay, set to open in March 2017.

Believing that load testing a gearbox and/or drive will ensure that potential problems are identified before the unit goes back into service, SEW-Eurodrive says it will implement a state-of-the-art system to load test up to 500 kW power and up to 600,000 Nm torque. Spin test or partial load test up to 1.5 MW 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, sales & operations manager – Far North Queensland, the load testing facility will be a great addition to the new service centre in Mackay. “SEW’s load testing capability will be the first of its kind in Queensland,” Daniel 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 CNC Design — a Melbourne based company — 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 USA.

GEARTest is a back-to-back setup to test the 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 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 on. Load testing allows measuring noise and checking compliance with noise requirements.

SEW says that its 2000sqm service centre, scheduled to open in March 2017, will allow it to better support gear drive customers in Mackay and surrounding region with their drive technology requirements.

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