FEATURE DRIVES, CONTROLS & MOTORS Rulmeca Motorised Drums were

introduced in 1956 to provide plant managers and designers with a compact, hermetically sealed and

highly efficient drive solution for belt conveyors and associated material handling equipment. Grahame Halligan, unit handling general manager, Rulmeca UK, looks into

their benefits and discusses why you should think about specifying drum motors for your application


hile various material handling applications require different drive solutions, all have the same core requirements for high efficiency,

simple installation, a broad operating performance and virtually maintenance-free running. To meet requirements, Rulmeca Drum Motors are the ideal solution for driving a wide range of standard flat belts, plastic modular and positively-driven thermoplastic conveyor belts. These motors can, however, also be used in many non-belt applications.

AN ALL-IN-ONE DRIVE SOLUTION When specifying a motor that provides the required motive power, engineers tend to look for a solution that supports aesthetics, minimises energy consumption, optimises hygienic operating conditions and fulfils H&S requirements. Traditional conveyor belt drives comprise of

several individual components including the geared motor, torque arm, mounting plate and drive pulley. With these, however, the external bearings, protective guarding and cooling fans can be an intrusive problem when the drives are located on conveyors with limited access. Rulmeca Drum Motors, meanwhile, combine and integrate the

electric motor, gearbox and bearings into one hermetically sealed pulley that is tested to IP66/69. The awareness and acceptance of engineers to specify drum motors as the most safe and hygienic ‘all-in-one’ drive solution, when compared to separate conventional drive systems, has had to overcome an unwillingness to accept change. But over the years, and with constant development, drum motors have proven to be totally reliable and more than a match in many applications.

WHY SPECIFY DRUM MOTORS? As many companies look to achieve efficiencies on the shop floor, the features and benefits of using drum motors instead of conventional geared motor drives has become more apparent. Benefits include: Compact space saving

Rulmeca’s Drum Motors 20 OCTOBER 2018 | DESIGN SOLUTIONS

design: Rulmeca Drum Motors are very compact, with the motor, bearings and gearbox enclosed inside a single roller casing which requires less space with fewer installation parts. They

The ‘sealed for life’ stainless steel drum motors have been tested to IP66/69 and released for operations in the most demanding cleaning procedures


can be discretely installed directly into the belt conveyor to increase the aesthetic and functional value of the finished unit. Reduced energy consumption: Compared to many corresponding

motor and gearbox systems commonly used in industry, drum motors are able to use less energy for the same performance, helping to reduce power consumption and energy costs. Increased output efficiency: Drum motors have a higher efficiency

compared to traditional motor transmission systems, which are normally able to transfer approximately 75% of the power used to the belt. Rulmeca Drum Motors are able to transfer up to 97%. Ease of installation: Drum motors are much faster and easier to

install when compared to traditional multiple component motor transmission systems, typically requiring less than a quarter of the time for installation.

Proven versatility: High quality design and precision engineering make Rulmeca Drum Motors perfect for operating in all applications – ranging from food and meat processing, packaging and dynamic weighing, to distribution,

airports and logistics. Guaranteed for food and hygienic

applications: The ‘sealed for life’ stainless steel drum motors have been tested to IP66/69 and released for operations in

the most demanding cleaning procedures, such as the clean-in-place processes that are carried out with the conveyor belt running. IP66/69 offers protection against high-pressure cleaners and steam jets, reducing contamination risk in food and other processing environments. In general, conventional drives are not optimal in terms of hygiene and

cleaning – they have fans, cooling ribs or at least cooling surfaces. If necessary, the transmission even has a protective hood. This is dangerous because dead spaces are formed where germs can ideally nest. Drum motors completely eliminate these potential hazards. Safety in operation: There are no protrusions and main component parts are totally enclosed within a drum motor. With the external shafts held captive in a conveyor frame, the only moving part is the body of the pulley running under the conveyor belt. Maintenance-free: The motor, bearings and gearbox are enclosed in a

fully sealed roller pulley that is partially filled with oil to act as a constant lubricant and refrigerant to dissipate away the heat through the shell and the conveyor belt. They require no maintenance throughout their service lifetime. With fewer parts to consider, conveyor design and assembly is easier and quicker, and procurement is simplified, reducing overall costs.

APPLICATIONS AND OPTIONS No matter what the task or operating conditions, Rulmeca has adapted drum motors to suit customers specific handling applications for virtually all makes of modular belts. Not only are many options available, such as sprockets, rubber lagging, integrated encoders, electromagnetic brakes and frequency converters, but they are certified according to the EC Directive and have a two year guarantee.

Rulmeca UK T: 01536 748525 

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