Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Overhead Crane (or Bridge Crane) Gear Couplings

Guest Post: Ron Haynes, Lovejoy Field Sales Representative

Whether it is called an “Overhead Crane” or a “Bridge Crane”, it can be found in a multitude of industrial environments, ranging from steel, automotive, power generation, pulp and paper to name just a few. The typical overhead crane consists of parallel runways with a traveling bridge spanning or straddling the gap. A hoist, mounted on the bridge is the lifting component of the crane.

Overhead Crane Gear Couplings - by Lovejoy

Unlike mobile or construction cranes, overhead cranes are typically used for manufacturing or maintenance applications, where efficiency and downtime are critical factors.
The origin of today’s industrial crane can be traced to the Ancient Greeks, who in the 6th Century BC, developed a winch and pulley-hoist system to replace a series of ramps as the main means of vertical lift.

Overhead Crane Gear Coupling - by Lovejoy

Today, cranes exist in a variety of forms, each tailored to a specific use, and although the style and function may vary, they all maintain many of the same basic design requirements. First and foremost is the inherent need to connect multiple shafts, drums and brakes to the prime and auxiliary movers powering the drive, travel and hoist function of the crane.  Over the years the “coupling of choice” for crane and hoist builders has been the Gear Coupling. With the highest power density, ability to adapt to multiple design and misalignment variations, along with a wider size torque and bore capacity then other style of couplings, it is easy to see why this series of coupling has become an industry standard.

Bridge Crane Gear Coupling - by Lovejoy

Although considered a mature product, the Gear Coupling not unlike the cranes they are used on, are being asked to do more while remaining true to the industry standards necessary for form fit and function. With the launch of the HercuFlex™ gear coupling product line in late 2014, Lovejoy has redefined and reinvented the gear coupling. Crane and hoist designers can look to Lovejoy for a new “Industry Standard” that offers increased torque and bore capacities combined with a design that increases service life while still retaining interchangeability within existing gear coupling sleeve flanges per AGMA standard dimensions. Simply put, the increased capacities will allow designers to maximize their system design or downsize the coupling to gain cost reductions without sacrificing performance.

Bridge Crane Coupling - by Lovejoy
To learn more about the HercuFlex gear coupling, please visit the Lovejoy product page to review technical specifications, review a whitepaper on the product, or download a catalog. To learn more about gear couplings in general, please check out the five part series on this blog starting with: Gear Coupling Tutorial - Part 1: Overview.

Lovejoy Crane Gear Coupling

To find a Lovejoy distributor for either the HercuFlex or tradition Lovejoy/Sier-Bath gear coupling, please check out Lovejoy's Find a Distributor tool.

About the Author: Ron Haynes is a seasoned mechanical power transmission and coupling expert with over four decades in the field. To find a highly qualified Lovejoy representative in your corner of the world, please use the Find a Sales Representative Tool

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