Over time, the sugarcane milling process has no longer been seen as the gross crushing of sugarcane, but a refined and controlled process of juice extraction. The efficiency of the extraction is essential, since the higher the efficiency, the higher the return on investment. Therefore, the plants and distilleries have sought efficient, robust and high-tech equipment, investing in technologies to replace the old open gear drives.
Generally driven by steam turbines and a set of rudimentary gears, the use of those open gears causes the assembly to lose power, having a maximum mechanical efficiency of 89,8%: a value considered too low nowadays.
Raising the levels of the milling indicators and modernizing it consists of eliminating the open gears and all the intermediate gears and installing TGM G3 Full planetary gearboxes. That brings reliability, robustness and lower maintenance costs, in addition to the significant gain in mechanical efficiency for the assembly, which may reach 94.4%.
Other negative aspects of open gear drives are the lack of maintenance flexibility, lack of individual speed regulation of the mill set, undersizing of the assembly compromising the production capacity, and high oil consumption. In addition, it is worth of notice that the food industry has increasingly required equipment free of grease and oil contamination (which is a common problem in the gear lubrication).
The manager of TGM Transmission Business Unit, Alexander Azzine, explains that, due to those characteristics, this type of drive (whether double or single type) has been replaced by more modern technologies. “The main purpose of the G3 Full line is to offer efficiency and reliability for roller mill drives. Changing those drives exclusively considering to increase the power is not, in our point of view, a definitive solution”, he says. “Therefore, TGM developed the G3 Full: a modern and technological machine that meets the needs for power, efficiency and reliability”, the manager adds.
“The first point is: when you install the TGM G3 Full planetary gearbox, the investment payback is achieved in a short time due to the gains in the milling capacity and extraction because of the individualization of the mill sets (when the double drive is replaced), not to mention the advantage of ten harvests without maintenance. More advantages: it also provides flexibility to adjust the mill set speeds and better control of the Chute Donelly; easier operation; significant extraction gains; clean and simple installation using less space than the current solution, and higher mechanical efficiency. All that is confirmed by the number of machines installed in nine countries”, Azzine explains.
Thus, plants seeking effective processes and energy gains invest in TGM G3 Full technology, which, among the many advantages of the planetary gearboxes, offer 10 harvests without maintenance.