Power and automation technologies solutions provider ABB’s Dodge line of bearings, gearing and power transmission components have helped customers in numerous industries to increase the productivity and profitability of their operations, says ABB product manager Lucas Pretorius.
“By focusing on each industry and concentrating on its specific needs, we have developed innovative product solutions and advanced technologies that help improve output, decrease downtime and enhance system value.”
He adds that ABB continuously engages with distributors and clients to aid product improvement. It also focuses extensively on research and development (R&D), boasting seven research centres worldwide.
“Our R&D engineers and scientists develop breakthrough technologies that change the way industries do business. We constantly push the limits of convention, but our focus is always on delivering solid returns for our customers and shareholders.”
In 2019 ABB invested about $1.2-billion in R&D, which enabled it to develop and patent various products and innovations meant to enhance customer output, notes Pretorius.
The Dodge ISN mounted spherical roller bearing features a patented integral adapter mounting and removal system, making it easy to install and remove without damaging the shaft. Pretorius explains that it is interchangeable with SN dimensioned housings, with a longer life and greater reliability.
The Dodge ISN is typically used within the mining, food and beverage, and air-conditioning industries. The larger units of about 125 mm to 170 mm tend to be used in mining.
Pretorius points out that about 20 to 30 Dodge ISN bearings have recently been ordered by a mining operation in the Northern Cape. The bearings range from 16 mm to 140 mm in shaft size.
Additionally, the Dodge torque-arm (TXT) is a shaft-mounted helical gear reducer that mounts directly to the driven shaft. It is a proven gear reducer suited to use in tough applications such as vibratory feeders, roller beds and belt conveyors, he adds.
The many accessories available increase the reducer’s adaptability, making it suitable for a range of environments, such as those in the water and wastewater, cement production, aggregate and mining industries, explains Pretorius.
The TXT is a patented twin-tapered bushing system, which eliminates fretting corrosion, and it can be installed using common hand tools.
Another patented design by ABB is the Dodge Raptor’s split natural-rubber element. Pretorius says the element is easy to assemble, significantly decreases total cost of ownership and extends equipment life, owing to the rubber acting as a shock absorber.
With the coupling being built for drop-in interchangeability, the Raptor features an innovative WingLock element design, which allows for easier installation and reduced maintenance.
ABB also offers the ABB Ability Condition Monitoring platform, which “tracks the status of ABB monitoring devices and provides reports for customers. It also provides service recommendations based on the reports”.
Remote assistance from ABB experts is also possible, with technicians consequently not having to physically inspect the equipment to know its status, Pretorius adds.
He notes that the device helps customers troubleshoot potential problems.
Further, other related offerings include the ABB Ability Smart Sensor for mechanical products.
“The smart sensor is an easy-to-use, wireless sensor that monitors the health of mounted bearings and gear reducers, enabling users to reduce downtime, improve reliability and operate safely.”
The sensor provides warnings regarding the declining health status of the bearing, consequently enabling customers to enact predictive maintenance and, thereby, mitigate potential problems and system shutdowns.
The smart sensor also grants complementary access to the ABB Ability digital platform.
“Although our products in South Africa are not fitted with this smart sensor yet, all Dodge bearings and gear reducers brought into the country have been prepared and drilled to accept the sensor when it becomes available.”
Pretorius states that, since ABB’s acquisition of industrial electric motors and mechanical power transmission from manufacturer Baldor Electric in 2011, the Dodge power transmission product range has been well received by key markets.
“The Dodge brand has been around for more than a century and the product range offers many useful features. The entire range is designed with the severest conditions in mind.”