Tightening the belt: Continuous improvement for the earth moving sector


Behind every great piece of equipment is a good belt. The humble belt is the understated essential worker of industry, says CBC’s power transmission expert Steve Hittmann.

In a refinery or processing plant, failure of a belt can cause unnecessary downtime. This is precisely why manufacturers like Gates® invest their efforts into the research and development of increasingly high-performance belt technology.

Gates® is a premium partner in distribution with CBC, so innovations in belt technology are Steve’s business. The Gates® PowerGrip™ GT4™ is the latest in materials science for belt design.

Steve explains, “The chemical composition of the GT4™ belt is excellent for torque and tension. The belt is made from ethylene-propylene elastomer rubber (EPR) which is resistant to heat, oxidation, weather, brake fluids, oils and greases. In addition to this, it has a fiberglass layer with tensile cords to reduce the amount of stretch.”

“The GT4™ belts are designed around 25,000 hours of life which is the premium standard Gates® maintains with their products. This means a minimum of 3 years of service life. However, I have seen these belts last up to 4 or 5 years on particular applications,” says Steve.

“They don’t require any lubrication or tensioning which means once installed, they are relatively hands-free on the maintenance side,” he adds.

CBC Senior Account Manager of more than 43 years, Brian Crouch, recently identified an opportunity to put the belts into action at the Viva Energy Geelong Refinery near his branch in Geelong, Victoria.

“I’ve looked after the Viva Energy site for 28 years, supplying all the power transmissions componentry there,” says Brian. “I’ve worked on many projects over the years for them. But more recently, I upgraded all their fin fan belt drives.”

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