Preventing Plant Shutdowns With Coal Conveying Confidence

Leland Olds Station's Lignite-Fired Power Plant Integrates Gearboxes, Efficient Motors, Pulleys and Shafting to Prevent Unplanned Downtime in Its Coal Conveyors

By Dave Soma

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Gear Reducers and Friends

Figure 4: To achieve more consistent gearbox performance, the plant's maintenance staff implemented Baldor's Dodge Quantis right-angle, helical bevel (RHB) reducers, Reliance Super-E premium-efficient, explosion-proof motors, Dodge pulleys and shafting, and Dodge Imperial bearings.

However, Taylor recommended more than just the gearbox. For added reliability, he suggested implementing a Baldor package that—in addition to the Quantis reducer—also included its Reliance Super-E explosion-proof premium-efficient motor, Dodge pulley and shafting components, and Dodge ISAF bearings (Figure 4).

Taylor reports he worked with Baldor's System-1 group, which is a team that facilitates design, quotation and order processing of multiple power transmission and electrical products into one packaged solution. He adds it's beneficial to deal with one company and get one quote. Plus, he believes customers get better packages and prices as a result. We and other Leland Old Station officials agreed, and we ordered six of them.

Likewise, it was nice when the shipments arrived, because we didn't have to do a bunch of assembly here at the plant. The drum was already mounted on the shaft, and the bearings were mounted too. So, when we got the assembly into position, all we had to do was mount the gearbox and motor package. Our electricians hooked it up, and away we went.

Consistent Performance

Since they were installed in the fall of 2009, our Quantis reducers have performed flawlessly. They run great, and our team only looks at them while performing our regularly scheduled, preventive maintenance program. It's a nice change not to be worried about failing gearboxes, but we also appreciate the benefits of getting the power we need from a compact unit.

Because space is at a premium where the gearboxes are used, having a smaller unit makes it much easier for us to get to all of the other equipment. Another feature is that these gearboxes have a built-in, roll-back clutch, instead of a separate piece of equipment, which took up space and required additional maintenance. In general, fewer moving parts means there is a lot less for us to deal with.

We're also glad to have a Baldor Reliance motor as part of the package, especially the efficient design for energy savings. We have a lot of Reliance motors in the plant, and we've had good luck with them, too.

In addition, the Baldor Dodge ISAF bearings were well received by our maintenance team (Figure 5). In the past, set screw bearings were used, but they caused severe damage to the shaft over time, which meant machining a new shaft as well as replacing the bearings. However, the Dodge bearings use an adapter-style mounting that attaches to the shaft with a concentric grip that reduces damage. We really like these bearings because they offer 360° of support. Because they support the shaft better, they won't cause any damage and are easy to maintain. These bearings have solved a lot of our problems.

Thanks to all these solutions, we're enjoying maintaining the plant without the panic we experienced in the past from constantly failing gearboxes. Now when peak demand hits, I don't worry about meeting critical demand, because our Quantis reducers and other products have proven to be so reliable. We believe our strategy of choosing a package based on total cost of ownership was the right decision. Our maintenance headaches have gone away. It would be nice if everything worked this way. 

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