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Simpler escalator drive is easier to maintain

01 February, 2006

Simpler escalator drive is easier to maintain

A compact new escalator drive, designed to be simpler than traditional designs, with fewer components and needing less maintenance, is using a special 160mm-wide gearbox, developed in the UK.

Traditionally, escalator steps have been driven by a combination of drive systems, consisting of gear and chain transmissions, linked to a main headshaft. These bulky systems can be awkward to maintain. The escalator manufacturer, Schindler, therefore to set out to develop a simpler, more compact design with a gearbox mounted directly on the escalator`s headshaft. The diagram above shows the simplfied layout.

But to put this design into practice, Schindler needed a gearbox, no wider than 160mm, that could deliver enough torque to drive the escalator with a full load of passengers. Schindler commissioned Renold Gears to design a suitable box. The result is a helical gearbox fitted with a standard first reduction worm and wheel, which delivers the required ratio.

The box was first used last year as a retrofit to an existing escalator in the Dutch city of The Hague. This installation (shown above) has performed well, and further installations are planned for this year.

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