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The Gear Works Opens Test and Assembly Center

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The Gear Works-Seattle Inc. announced the opening of its new gearbox assembly and test center that has much increased the company’s ...
April 20, 2005—The Gear Works-Seattle Inc. announced the opening of its new gearbox assembly and test center that has much increased the company’s gearbox rebuild and testing capacity. Located adjacent to the manufacturing facility, the new gearbox center is furnished with equipment that will facilitate the complete overhaul, assembly and testing of large gear drives.

According to the company’s press release, the facility is segregated into six areas: disassembly, lubrication, instrumentation, clean assembly, special projects and gearbox testing.

Multiple workstations in the disassembly and evaluation area provide for simultaneous processing of many gearbox repair projects. A separate electrical service is dedicated to two regenerative gearbox test cells. The smaller test cell can provide incremental loads up to 150 hp. The larger cell, currently under installation, will induce loads up to 2,500 hp by means of back-to-back gearboxes driving a generator at 1,800 rpm. According to The Gear Works, the advantage of regenerative testing is that power consumption is limited to the efficiency losses of the drive system.

Special gearbox testing can also be accomplished by means of a four-square method where the load is applied by inducing torsion between shaft connections of two opposing gearboxes. The drive motor is sized according to efficiency losses of the gearboxes. Load testing efficiency requires that the entire test setup be anchored to a rigid foundation. The Gear Works’ large test bed consists of 300 yards of reinforced concrete and structural steel.