Mechanical Power Transmission Blog

Mechanical Power Transmission

The Mechanical Power Transmission Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about Gears & Gearbox Assemblies; Belts, Pulleys, Chains & Sprockets; Brakes, Clutches & Couplings; Design & Analysis. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

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2 comments

What's the Weakest Link?

Posted April 22, 2010 7:59 AM

Power transmission systems need to have overall efficiency optimized. Just one sub-par component can derail the entire system's performance. In your experience, have some components proven more troublesome than others? What are they, and how could they be brought into line?

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Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
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#1

Re: What's the Weakest Link?

04/22/2010 8:28 PM

What frustrates me is the OEM HQ designs a coupling out of low carbon steel so that it will fail, rather than have the expensive gears and shafts break. (this is good design)

Then they test at the plant level with destructive load, see that the coupler breaks, and want us to test the steel for defects. (It's a destructive test, what do you think is going to break?)

So we do an expensive lab investigation ( at our cost, uncompensated) and the plant buyer decides to upgrade the steel to a higher hardenability, stronger grade.

Now the coupler doesn't break.

(The gears in the transmission do!)

As a supplier, I'm supposed to be happy. But as a professional, and as a customer, I'm really aggravated that the idiots are making decisions with no idea about the purpose of the coupler and the vital role played by designating a 'weakest link!'

Of course, maybe its good business to have the transmission fail instead of just replacing a coupler.

Thanks. I feel much better now.

milo

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Guru

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 1984
Good Answers: 25
#2

Re: What's the Weakest Link?

04/25/2010 8:06 AM

It is couplings,keys etc. They are designed to fail to save other major parts.

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