Industry-specific power transmission needs can be efficiently served by a streamlined product development process. The ‘Food and Beverage’ industry has a variety of gearbox applications which are regulated by governmental industry standards, such as NSF and FDA. The scope of this paper is to design and construct a gearbox in compliance with these standards, which may be substantially different from typical industrial requirements.
The paper discusses details of a gearbox development for food and beverage applications. It mainly includes stainless steel housing and shaft designs, as well as oil seal, bearing and lubricant selections. The development process utilizes tools, viz. Quality Function Deployment (QFD), Failure Mode Evaluation Analysis (FMEA), computational ‘Finite Element Analysis’ (FEA), and 3D printing followed by prototype testing. QFD is used to prioritize features to be included in the product. Potential failures of the gearbox are identified with FMEA. The structural and thermal optimization of the newly designed housing is performed using FEA. 3D printing is utilized to find design defect at early stage, and validate the gearbox assembly procedure. Minimizing the number of physical prototype testing and iterations is the primary objective for the utilization of these tools.
Author: Sandeep V. Thube
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