Water, mud, dirt and dust contaminants are one of the many ways that bring flexible mechanical couplings to a halt.
Rubber boots, constant greasing and inspections are the usual way used to keep the bearings inside couplings working.
That’s part of the ROI but what about the annual cost that adds to keeping your customers machinery moving.
Let’s look at the cost of annual maintenance for universal joints both cheap imports and recognized brands and see if they are cheap or not.
A universal joint of a standard size can be bought cheaply for around $100 dependent on size, to that you have to add the rubber boot to keep contaminants out, water, mud, dirt and dust etc. This adds another $20-30 to the cost.
Whats the cost?
The real costs come with the maintenance, this includes machinery downtime, constant greasing to ensure the coupling bearings keep working (no grease means bearing failure, and allows contaminants into the bearings) and the cross replacement when bearings are worn or failed due to contamination. So, let’s be conservative, machinery downtime can run from $1000s to $10,000 per hour they are down, so if a universal joint fails here, it’s no longer cheap.
The constant greasing is essential, machinery downtime plus the cost of paying someone to do the actual greasing and inspection so at 10 minutes that will again cost easily $50 but probably more, even using your own labor. This process has to be done every few hundred hours depending on its application, so for a high usage application that’s every month or so.
Next is the eventual replacement of the bearing or the universal cross, these are cheap only $20-40 but again, machinery downtime, cost of labor to replace them so the total for that will run closer to $100. Has the rubber boot split yet? May need to replace that also. Have either of the yoke broken or are so worn they need to be replaced?
So, adding these costs up of your “cheap” universal joint you are looking at an initial cost for the 1st year of $300-400 and each year after slightly less for more like $250-350. For a brand name, as you have to use their bearing kits, their rubber boots, their grease (or recommended grease) so you can add 30% to those numbers.
Providing a new alternative?
We can help you with a new alternative, no maintenance, a premium product at a reasonable price.
Twin Spring Coupling can offer you a solution for your customers, our coupling does not use bearings so no constant maintenance – greasing, replacing worn bearings and best of all no unscheduled machinery downtime.
The unique patented design works using two torsion springs to be as flexible as a uni joint without any internal bearings. The heavy-duty springs means we offer torque ratings of 150 to 500 ft lbs of static torque.
For more information of how our unique coupling can help you and your customers