Extreme industrial applications demand gear drives that perform reliably every day. So when Andrew Sirl, a CBC Technical Services Manager, learned that his customer, a major South East Asian mining operation, was running an outdated gear reducer on their reclaim water pumps, he proposed an upgrade.
The mining operation, as Andrew explains, was using an aged FalkTM Y-Series gear reducer on water reclaim pumps which were critical to the mine’s operations. The gear reducers had been in service for 40 plus years, in itself a testament to Falk quality but meant they had outdated gear design technology which was no longer stocked. Every time the site needed to refurbish the gear reducers, components such as the gearing, housing and shafts had to be individually manufactured as indent items.
“This led to considerable repair lead times for the site, not to mention the heavy costs of manufacturing the indent items,” says Andrew.
In consultation with engineers from Rexnord Australia, the CBC technical team proposed replacing the dated unit with a new gearbox that would feature more torque capacity, higher thermal performance and more convenient servicing: the Falk V-Class.
Rexnord introduced the Falk V-Class gearbox back in 2011 with the aim of providing longer operating life in harsh conditions. Built in features such as the thermally optimised housing means the gearbox can deliver more torque with a compact design.
In this application, Andrew says, higher thermal rating was of particular interest as the existing Y-Series gear reducers were pressed to their limits for thermal rating design factors.
The DuraplateTM cooling system, which the Rexnord Australia team added as an additional accessory to the Falk V-Class, proved to be the ideal cooling system for this application, Andrew explains.
“There are different considerations when selecting the correct cooling system for gear reducer. The motor power, the ratio, the ambient temperature, and height above sea level are all factors that impact the thermal rating and performance of a gear reducer,” says Andrew.
“The cooling system for the Falk V-Class reducer can be as simple as just a shaft fan, or you can use the factory-installed Rexnord Duraplate system, which is an integral, self-contained system to
control oil temperature,” he adds.
According to, Andrew Jennings, Product Manager at Rexnord Australia, installing the Duraplate cooling system involves fitting a filter, an oil flowmeter and a thermal bypass valve that opens when the oil sump temperature reaches 65˚C. The shaft driven fan, driven by the high-speed shaft maintains air circulation while oil is circulated via a shaft-driven pump mounted on an intermediate gear shaft, so there’s no need for additional motors, thus simplifying the installation.
“Rexnord offers other cooling options to suit a vast range of ambient conditions, but we recommend the Duraplate cooling system wherever additional thermal capacity is needed. It simplifies installation because there’s no need for electricity or cooling water to control the oil temperature,” explains Andrew.
In implementing the upgrade, the CBC and Rexnord Australia technical teams were also keen to ensure minimal disruptions in the existing configurations.
“We wanted to ensure the least modifications in the existing setup. So we worked closely with the Rexnord Australia technical team to design a new galvanised base to fit the existing 1500HP motor
drive. This allowed the pump to remain in the same footprint and position after replacing the gear unit,” says Andrew.
The new base, which was mated to the existing motor configuration, enabled the mine to use the existing motor, an option that Andrew says the customer greatly appreciated.
“They already placed orders for three more V-Class gear reducers and base plates, with more orders pending,” he says.
As an added layer of reliability improvement, the team at Rexnord Australia also installed a smart condition monitoring system (SCMC) on the new gear reducer unit to help monitor factors such as oil relative humidity, oil sump temperature, vibration and speed.
This, too, was a unique option that Andrew says was new for the mine.
“We believe once the site sees the value of this condition monitoring system, they will look at it for other gear reducers on site,” he says.
Andrew says the close collaboration between CBC and Rexnord was instrumental in delivering a truly customised solution.
“With the partnership that exists between Rexnord and CBC, we can receive the gearbox units from the Rexnord manufacturing facility in the US within 8-10 weeks after placing the order and custom-fit all of the required accessories at our Newcastle facility. This includes customisations such as the cooling systems, the monitoring systems, adding inching drives for mill applications, alignment-free motor mounts and base or shaft mounted options,” says Andrew.
In the near future, Andrew says Rexnord will be able to offer the Falk V-Class units under Australian manufacture, enabling the company to support the Australian market even more closely.
“Both Rexnord and CBC share the same values in terms of our customer-first approach, and we are constantly streamlining our operations to provide services that are better, faster and
Why Choose Falk V-Class Gear Drives?
• More torque capacity handles the heaviest loads
• Heavy-duty ductile iron housing withstands shock loads. Optimised bevel and helical tooth forms deliver smooth torque transmission by ensuring full contact under loads.
• Horizontally split housing
• The housing allows easy disassembly/assembly for maintenance of bearings and gearing without removing the reducer from its location.
• Reliable components for long-term operation
• Magnum seals have an exclusive no-leak design with a purgeable grease chamber, and a contact seal that eliminates oil leaks while keeping dirt out.
• Cooling fins reduce oil temperature
• Proprietary oil feed passages in the housing improve lubrication and provide optimal cooling.
• Removable feet allow drop-in replacement for current product lines and easily adapt for replacement of competitor gear units.