Torquing about drive shafts for irrigation pumps

drive shafts

An irrigation pump requires a powerful drive shaft arrangement to pump water often from many meters underground. 

The engine generates a lot of reverberation that can shock the connection points between the engine and the drive pump, also known as ‘harmonic reverberation,’ according to Steve Hittmann, BSC’s National Product Manager for Power Transmission and Mechanical Drive Systems.

Within agricultural operations, many irrigation pumps are diesel powered,” says Steve. “So, the drive shaft design needs to account for a certain amount of torque, shock and particularly the differences in harmonics for long periods of time, particularly at the point of the connection – the shaft coupling.”

When designing drive shafts for customers in the ag sector, Steve works closely with engineers from Regal Rexnord–a longstanding strategic supplier to BSC– who specialise in coupling arrangements with high torsional elasticity and high shock absorption. 

In 2018, with the market demand for reliable Power Transmission products on the rise, Regal Rexnord acquired CENTA Power Transmission as part of their mandate to service complex systems in key industries, such as farming and agriculture. 

Managing Director of CENTA, John Kopp, has overseen operations for CENTA for the better part of two decades and came on board with the recent acquisition. Having worked extensively with irrigation companies, John is well versed on the ins and outs of drive shaft components on pump applications. 

“The CENTAFLEX A series drive shafts and couplings are ideally suited to pump applications,” he says. “The products were specifically designed for the problem of torsional vibration—which I would say is our specialty.”

“A lot of our competitor’s coupling products are just designed to transmit power from one point to another,” he elaborates. “But our products are specifically designed to deal with the problem of torsional vibration by employing rubber with the dampening characteristics required when an application is under siege from the effects of reverberation.” 

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