Utilities (Power Generation)

Electrical Power Generation, Transmission & Distribution

Cyclo drives in Perlite Furnaces

John Rauch, Sumitomo Sales


Incon Corporation (www.inconcorp.com) specializes in the design, engineering, manufacture, service, and support of perlite process systems and equipment for companies around the globe. At the heart of each system is an Incon perlite furnace.

Incon's perlite furnaces are known worldwide for their rugged construction, reliable energy-efficient operation, and good value. Perlite systems supplied by Incon define the standard to which others are compared.

One of the reasons Incon is so well known for its reliable perlite systems is that Incon specifies only high-quality subcomponents, not only on their furnaces, but also on all the auxiliary equipment they manufacture for the other portions of their expansion systems.

Incon has a long-standing, successful relationship with Sumitomo Drive Technologies (www.smcyclo.com). They use Sumitomo power transmission products on virtually all equipment in the process systems that they now supply.

“Our first experience with Sumitomo was very convincing," said Art Anderson, Incon’s President. "A gearmotor was failing periodically on a horizontal rotary furnace at one of our installations. The application was particularly demanding. Production schedules at the installation would not always allow maintenance when needed, and the gearmotor was subjected to high heat, abrasive dust, and an uneven (at times pounding) load. At the time, we were using a very large and robust drive from a well known U.S. manufacturer. Sumitomo suggested a Cyclo drive that was very compact. In fact, it was so compact that my first impression was to reject it without even a trial. In the end, we did install it and it has served ever since, without fail, for decades. I was surprised that such a small compact drive could so completely outperform its much larger predecessor.”

Incon has had such success with Sumitomo and their Cyclo drives that they have broadened their use to include other Sumitomo drive products as well. One example is the use of a helical buddybox on their high temperature baghouse screw conveyor application. Sumitomo worked with Incon to replace the standard reducer seals with Viton oil seals for this high temperature application. The entire reducer is grease-lubricated to seal it from perlite dust.

Art Anderson noted, “Sumitomo’s grease lubrication has been a luxury for us. In some remote locations around the world it can be a challenge to obtain the special lubricants that some gearboxes require, to insure that the correct amount of lubricant is installed, and we can’t always be certain that lubrication is subsequently carried out properly at required intervals. Sumitomo’s permanent grease lubrication allows us to ship our equipment prelubricated and ready-to-operate. We can ship the equipment in any orientation without concern for the lubrication leaking. And, after commissioning, we can be assured of long service even if our customer’s PM (preventive maintenance) is not what we would hope.”

Sumitomo’s international presence has been especially helpful in allowing Incon to maintain a leading position in perlite technology around the globe. “With Sumitomo we can meet the various project requirements we encounter, whether they be special voltages, metric dimensions, frame sizes or the need to meet different international and governmental standards. This, coupled with Sumitomo’s International manufacturing, distribution, and support, helps to provide Incon with a smooth path from sales through design, system commissioning, and later customer support."

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