Food and Beverage

Seafood Processing

Cyclo Aerators drive the Aquaculture Industry

Dave Haskew, Sumitomo Sales

Aquaculture, the farming of plants and animals in water, is becoming a major force in world agriculture. Currently, approximately 12 percent of the world's fish and seafood supply is farm raised. Mississippi leads the nation’s aquaculture, producing almost 50 percent of the United States' farm-raised fish. Catfish is king, with more than 100,000 acres of water currently in production. Catfish farming, along with support industries such as processors and feed mills, accounts for more than 8,000 Mississippi jobs.

When oxygen gets low, fish may die unless some method is used to oxygenate the water. Paddlewheels beat the water, breaking it into droplets that absorb oxygen from the air. An area of higher oxygen is created around the paddlewheel, which attracts the suffocating fish. Aerway Manufacturing Company ( manufactures aeration equipment, such as electric paddlewheels, that provide high oxygen transfer rates and strong horizontal mixing for catfish farms.

Aerway’s floating electric paddlewheel features a direct drive Sumitomo Cyclo® reducer gearbox, Quik-Flex QF series gearbox to rotor coupling, and an aluminum hood. UHMW (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene) water bearings support each end of the rotor. Its all welded steel frame is either hot dip galvanized, or painted with Carboline 890 Epoxy. All bolts and hardware are stainless steel.

“We have used various gearboxes and nothing compares with the durability and longevity of Sumitomo drives. Our customers now demand Sumitomo drives”, says Robert Schmidt of Aerway. Typical power requirements are about 1 to 1½ HP per surface acre. Aerators are usually 30 to 50 feet apart. How many Sumitomo Cyclo Drives would be used in an entire catfish farm? A lot.

Sumitomo Drive Technologies has been recognized as a premium supplier of drive solutions for decades, notably for heavy-duty applications used in industries such as mining, steel mills and sawmills. Backed by experience, and a reputation for offering one of the most tough and rugged speed reducers in the market today, Sumitomo now offers that same dependability to the catfish farming industry.

For more information on Cyclo Drives, please contact Sumitomo Drive Technologies at 1-800-SM-CYCLO or email us at
To download PDF file of this case study, click here.

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