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Application of the Month

Plastic Converting
June, 2006 - View all Application Examples

Perhaps one of the most revolutionary materials ever conceived is plastic. It's uses have been incorporated into a mind boggling array of products, applications, and industries. The machinery designed to convert plastic into this variety of products is almost as vast.

A recent challenge was presented to Diequa by a company designing machinery to produce precision plastic sheets. The chill station that cooled the plastic after extrusion was creating lines and marks on the material, which reduced the finish quality of the final product. It was a large horsepower application and was being driven by a shaft mounted helical gear motor from one of the more prominent manufacturers in the market place.

The problem was identified as excessive backlash and runout in the reducer. Play in the gears resulted in uneven motion, which translated directly to the product in the form of lines and marks. Reduced backlash and runout were required to improve the consistent motion of the chill rolls.

The solution provided by Diequa was a MAS2000 Helical Bevel Gear Motor produced by WATT Drive. While products of this type are used in a variety of industrial applications, most manufacturers struggle when low backlash is an element of the design criteria. WATT Drive has designed the MAS2000 program to include low backlash as a major performance benefit.

To achieve low backlash and low runout, WATT Drive has optimized the helical tooth form and manufacturing tolerances to provide one of the smoothest running and most power dense reducers available. Along with close tolerances machining of the bearing seats, within the gear housings, precise positioning of the mating tooth flanks provides unmatched backlash control within this product group.

Another main requirement of the application was an extremely large output bore to accommodate the water lines feeding through the hollow output bore and into the chill roll journal shaft. Water circulation and temperature control is critical to maintain the proper parameters required to cool the various materials being manufactured.

The customer was having difficulty finding a supplier that could meet the backlash specification and be willing to modify their standard design to provide the larger output shaft. Again, MAS2000 was the solution as WATT Drive is dedicated to meeting the specific design needs of their customers. A wide variety of options and design modifications are routinely offered to satisfy the requirements of unique applications.

The final criteria was the incorporation of a motor that could provide the feedback and control of the chill stand. Diequa selected the WATT Drive asynchronous motor, a hybrid design, providing servo like performance, which included a brake, an encoder, temperature controls, and an eco-fast connector. The entire package provided the backlash and motion control necessary to improve the manufacturing process to the customer's expectations and requirements.

Chris Popp
Director of Marketing

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