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Bauer gear motors make a splash at US theme park

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Robust IP68-rated motors solve reliability problems on popular water ride.

Boat rides are a perennial attraction at theme parks around the world. The formula is simple, but effective: passengers start their experience dry, and a relatively sedate pace. By the end of the ride, they have been soaked by spray, thrilled by rapids and – usually – terrified by a seemingly impossible plunge.

At one large theme park located in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA, the climax of its popular boat ride is a 15 metre vertical drop down a 24 metre long chute into a plunge pool. Thrills along the way include scenery that appears to burn and crumble before passengers’ eyes.

The progress of the flat-bottomed boats through the ride’s canal system appears to be magical. In practice, or course, motion depends on sophisticated mechanical and electronic control systems, mainly hidden beneath the water’s surface. Around 100 photo sensors distributed around the ride monitor the progress of boats, and 30 or so submersed, powered, rubber wheels propel them from point to point along the route.

During the early years of the ride’s operation, however, its hidden propulsion system proved to be an Achilles heel. Due to water ingress, the original geared motors driving those wheels were failing within 6 months of operation, requiring the ride to be shut down while replacements were installed. In fact, technical problems meant the ride was closed for almost half of its first peak season – frustrating for customers who were prepared to queue for up to two hours to experience its thrills.

Eventually, the theme park’s owners decided enough was enough. Their search for a more reliable solution led them to Bauer Gear Motor, part of the Altra Industrial Motion Corporation. Bauer’s engineering expertise and highly efficient, modular designs made it a perfect partner for the ride’s propulsion system. Furthermore, with many years of experience supplying gear motors to the water treatment industry, Bauer’s products are proven to be reliable in fully submerged applications.

Chris Macock, Project Manager for Bauer in the US, comments: “After suffering multiple failures it wasn’t surprising that the park owners wanted to find a reliable alternative. Each period of downtime resulted in unhappy customers, lost revenue and maintenance costs – which you don’t expect in a ride’s first season.

Having conducted a site visit to understand the environment in which the gear motors would be located, we were confident that we could supply a solution that would keep the ride operational throughout the year.”

The motor selected to replace the failing units was from the Bauer BG series. These compact, economical gear motors use high-tensile cast housings and can be configured to produce torques of up to 18,500 Nm. They comply with major North American and international technical standards, including NEMA, IEC, CSA and CE.

The modified BG50 units supplied for the water ride feature IP68 gearbox sealing, shaft seals with stainless steel springs and V4A stainless steel output shafts. A WIMES (Water Industry Mechanical and Electrical Specifications) compliant coating was also added to provide an extra level of corrosion protection.

The theme park operator is very pleased with the Bauer solution: there have been no BG Series failures due to water ingress after more than four years of service. Furthermore, while they may not be aware of it, the ride’s customers are pleased too: the enhanced reliability of the Bauer gear motors means they get the thrilling ride they were hoping for on their big day out.

Türkiye endüstrisine, alana özel, spesifik yayınlar üreten MONETA Tanıtım’ın sektörel dergilerinin editörlüğünü yapmaktayım. Yeni nesil, dinamik yayıncılık anlayışıyla, dijital ve basılı mecralarda içerik geliştirmek için çalışmaktayız.

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Motors

NORD smooth motors ideal for the food and beverage industry

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From its own production, NORD DRIVESYSTEMS offers ventilated and unventilated motors with smooth surfaces for areas with high hygiene standards. Their washdown-optimised cast aluminium housings make them easy to clean.

The smooth surface motors from NORD are available in sizes BG 80, 90 and 100. They are based on the NORD modular construction system and therefore offer maximum flexibility for versatile application areas. The motors are provided with protection class IP66 and they are compatible with every gear unit type. In addition, the use of energy-saving three-phase motors ensures high efficiency with low operating costs.

Optionally, the smooth surface motors are available with the nsd tupH surface treatment, which is a special process making the aluminium surface corrosion-resistant and particularly hard, similar to the qualities of stainless steel. In contrast to protective painting or coating, nothing can detach or flake off.

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Motors

Shaft height record for high-torque motors

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Baumüller is expanding its portfolio of high-torque motors with a shaft height of 560 mm.

Baumüller is breaking its own shaft height record with the current expansion of its motor portfolio. With a shaft height of 560 mm, the new DST2-560 high-torque motors are now the largest motors that the manufacturer and pioneer of direct drive technology offers in series production.

High torque for industrial use

With a maximum torque of up to 80,000 Nm, the motors are suitable for use in various industries and systems, such as servo presses, extruders and shredders. The water-cooled high-torque motors offer very high torques even at low speeds and also impress with outstanding true running characteristics, a robust design and a smooth housing surface that is not prone to accumulating dirt.

Powerful and clean alternative for ships

Specifically designed for use in ships, the DST2-560 is optionally also available with so-called wing mounts. These feet diametrically arranged on the outer diameter of the motor make it easier to integrate it into the ship design. In addition, the high-torque motors have already been prepared for approval according to Lloyd’s Register and the DNV GL. With degrees of efficiency of 96% over a broad speed range, the DST2-560 motors are very energy-efficient.

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Motors

Module systems with higher performance

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The drive and automation specialist Baumüller is introducing new axis units for its module system b maXX 5000. The new units are suitable for a performance range with a peak performance of up to 240 kW. The entire range of b maXX 5000 devices covers a nominal power range of 1 to 100 kW and thus displays a suitable solution for various applications in machine and plant construction

Safe stackable servo controller

The converter series b maXX 5000 includes feed-in and regenerative units as well as drive units, which can be quickly and easily combined by an integrated drive connect system. For the machine builder and operator this means less installation effort and short start-up and service times. The controllers are available in the air, water and cold plate cooling types and score with minimal assembly space thanks to high performance density. With plug-in modules the devices can be equipped with safety functions according to IEC 61800-5-2. The machine builder can choose from four different modules to adapt the safety functions to his specific application. The plug-in modules enable a fast and flexible reaction to new requirements.

 

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