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Motor Drive Belt Question

Motor Drive Belt Question

(OP)
I'm a maintenance technician at a glass bottling plant and I've become responsible for our Batch House. I've noticed some of our material elevators use 5V drive belts and some use 5VX drive belts. I've been googling trying to figure out which I want to standardize around as wear and usage are all similar across the board but haven't been able to find much. I gather that the 5V are Wedged V-Belts while the 5VX are Cogged. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? We have no mechanical engineers at work to ask this to.

Thanks for taking the time to answer this, it's appreciated.

RE: Motor Drive Belt Question

A quick search shows that the grooves in the VX belts are to allow use with smaller sheaves. I expect this additional feature involves an additional cost. Typically that is the reason for a particular selection - getting the desired performance at lowest cost. In the event that the belts are different prices, it may be that standardizing will still save money.

You may wish to read this: http://www.gates.com/~/media/files/gates/industria...

RE: Motor Drive Belt Question

If wear and usage are similar, that suggests that both types are designed optimally.
... which in turn suggests that if you want to standardize on one belt type, you will need to re-engineer the units that now use the other type.
... which will eat up any nominal cost savings,
and invalidate warranties on newish stuff,
and leave you with stuff that's not quite like the other stuff from the same manufacturers, so when there's a problem, the "who you gonna call", becomes you, not the equipment supplier.


Better to make sure you have a system in place so that you mostly order, stock, and install the proper belt for each unit in the plant.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Motor Drive Belt Question

(OP)
Plant was built in the 70's and has been ad-hoc repaired since then. It's apparent that everything has been maintained ‘off the cuff’ if you know what I mean. People replacing broken parts with what is most rapidly and cheaply available. I'm trying to get away from that.

Thanks for linking to the belt drive design manual, going to read that now.

RE: Motor Drive Belt Question

I consider the X notched belts a step up in quality, even when the ability to conform to smaller sheaves is not needed. The faces are cut, which makes the thickness more consistent along the belt, which creates fewer vibration problems.

if belt life is not satisfctory I'd look for problems elsewhere.

The exception is lawn mowers etc that use an idler pulley as a clutch. For that service the wrapped Gates Green belts are tough to beat

RE: Motor Drive Belt Question

I used to drive Corvairs, hard, on the street.
They use a 'mule drive' for the engine cooling fan and the generator or alternator.
The universally recommended belt for high performance was a Gates cut belt with notches.
The belt that actually lasted best was the cheapest wrapped belt from Western Auto.
... but mule drives are very different from normal industrial drives.

I stand by my advice of documenting the recommended belt for each machine, at the machine, at the inventory location, and at the ordering location, and establishing some discipline in ordering and installing the exact correct belt for each machine, and keeping records detailed enough to calculate belt life by brand and type for each machine.

That's more of a tribal/social/leadership problem than a technical problem, and hence more difficult to implement, but it should pay off and make everyone's life easier, eventually.

If you have someone who is superb at making lists, and otherwise not very useful, it may be simplest to designate that person as a 'belt specialist' and ask them to straighten out the whole mess.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

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