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Globetrotting gearbox worms its way into
a new life
A tough little gearbox that
began its working life nearly 20 years ago in France has begun a
new career at the heart of a versatile confectionary packaging
machine half a world away in Australia.
The design of the Bonfiglioli worm gearbox has been improved with
higher torque ratings.
Pausing only for an oil change,
multipurpose worm gearbox has been incorporated as the main drive
of a customised continuous motion vertical cartoner engineered by
John A L Mills and Associates.
The Melbourne precision metal
working specialists found the Bonfiglioli VF62F drive (since
superseded by Bonfiglioli's later W models) was in such good
condition after its years of service that it would run with perfect
reliability in the Marchesini machine being modified for contract
"The drive was originally
transferred out to Australia in a BAV 120 Marchesini used first for
packing cosmetics in France in 1987, then later in a similar role
in Australia, before being used for pharmaceuticals," says John A L
Mills’ Managing Director, John Mills.
"After a period of inactivity,
the Marchesini was presented to us for refurbishment to run at 'as
new’ speeds for confectionary packaging, but with features that
made it better than new.
"These included a John Mills
high speed batching and dispensing conveyor, which is an interface
device between the high-speed multi-head weighing machine and the
continuous motion cartoning machine.”
“The high-speed conveyor
transfer section features wide mouth loading hopper apertures
descending into contoured exits for high speed (90 cartons a
minute) precision filling of 30g confectionary cartons," said Mr
Mills, whose previous projects have included precision equipment
for such demanding applications as defence, food and beverage,
laboratory, pharmaceutical and scientific.
During testing of the
previously inactive Marchesini machine, Mr Mills ran the motor up
to full speed to see what happened.
"The output shaft of the
Bonfiglioli worm box turned, but little more. So the machine was
stripped and all worn parts were replaced,” he said.
"The Bonfiglioli gearbox was
inspected as part of this process, and found to be in mint
conditions. A change of oil was all that was needed for it to go
back into service."
The original VF62F series
gearbox - now functioning flawlessly in its new role - was the
predecessor of a multipurpose series of Bonfiglioli drives
available throughout Australasia, including the latest W versions
in models from 190-1,000Nm.
(Australia) Pty Ltd Managing Director Malcolm Lewis said that while
Bonfiglioli's versatile worm gearboxes are among the smallest in a
broad range extending up to giants with more than 55,000 Nm of
torque, they have always been a market leader in their intended
"There are thousands of these
worm gearboxes out there still performing flawlessly after years
and decades of service, in Australia, New Zealand and worldwide,"
"The design has been improved
with higher torque ratings, better mounting and changeover
flexibility, plus enhanced thermal ratings to permit more compact
units to be selected for many applications.
"But the rugged heart of the
drive retains the same quality and durability that has made this
type of drive a market leader over many years."
(Australia) Pty Ltd is part of the international Bonfiglioli group
with worldwide sales of more than $A550 million a year and which
employs more than 1700 people.
The Australian operation is
complemented by a network of distributors extending throughout the
country and in New Zealand includes Precision Bearings and
Transmission and Saeco Bearings and Transmissions.
Bonfiglioli's flexible modular
ranges extend across the performance spectrum from smaller W1 worm
models right through to the larger and sophisticated combinations
of C1, A, F and S helical and helical bevel products, as well as
clutch-brake units and electric brake motors.
The range includes versatile
Trasmital planetary units as well as heavy duty TA, RAN and RAP/RAO
types up to 55,000 Nm outputs.