wind turbines in Oiz eolic park at sunset

Why You Need Good Wind Turbine Brakes

Much of the focus in the wind energy industry is invested in keeping things spinning, preferably faster, more efficiently, and for longer periods. That is, of course, important and central to the purpose of wind turbines, but wind turbine brakes, while of equal importance, are often overlooked.

In this article, we’ll discuss different types of wind turbine brakes, their purposes, and why they are important. Interested? Read on!

What Are Wind Turbine Brakes For?

Wind turbine brakes are important for maintenance, for emergencies, or even for something as simple as managing risk and protecting investment in the case of high wind speeds.

Wind turbine brakes reside within the body of the turbine, just underneath the low-speed shaft. For more information on the body and inner workings of wind turbines, check out this link, or for more background on windmills, see our page here.

Different Kinds of Brakes and Their Purposes

There are two major different types of wind turbine brakes: electrical and mechanical.

Electrical Wind Turbine Brakes

Electrical wind turbine brakes work better for small wind turbines. They take energy from the generator and put it in the resistor bank. This turns the kinetic energy of the rotating turbine into thermal.

This method of braking works well when used in a cyclical fashion. By braking in this way, the blades slow down, keeping the turbine rotating at a safe speed even in fast winds without expelling too much energy to the brake system.

Electrical wind turbine brakes are not usually used in larger wind turbines that are grid-connected.

Mechanical Wind Turbine Brakes

There are two types of mechanical wind turbine brakes: drum brakes and disk brakes.

Mechanical wind turbine brakes have two main uses.

They are applied as a backup method of holding the turbine in place for maintenance or repairs, in the case of a failure of the primary rotor lock system, or in the case of emergency situations, such as extreme gusts of the wind or too much speed.

For these safety reasons, it is important to have a good mechanical brake.

Mechanical wind turbine brakes should only be applied after the turbine speed has been reduced to one or two rotor RPM because using this method to bring a stop from full speed can cause a fire in the nacelle.

To slow the turbine to this speed, blade furling or an electrical brake can be used. Aside from the energy reasons mentioned earlier, this is another important reason to have a good electrical wind turbine brake.

Other Wind Turbine Brakes

There are also hydraulic brakes, but these are used less often, and more in the case of emergencies. For modern trends in wind turbine brakes including reliability, noise reduction, and ease of repair, look here.

If you’re looking for more information on choosing a heavy industry brake, clutch and friction system, you can check out our page here.

Any remaining comments, questions, or concerns on this article or an order you might like to place? Feel free to contact us!

How to Pick the Best Wind Turbine Brake

Do you need to choose a wind turbine brake for you or a client?

Wind turbines are often used as a major part of a home or businesses electric power production. This means that a wind turbine brake and other parts must be functioning properly.

But as you consider your options, how can you pick the best wind turbine brakes?

Let’s take a closer look at how you can find the brakes that are best for your wind turbine system.

A Wind Turbine Brake is Different

Wind turbines often rise hundreds of feet into the sky. This means that these brakes must operate unmanned and need to function properly for longer periods of time.

After all, who wants to go up high in the sky to fix these more than they need to?

Another important difference between these brakes and those on other machines’ brakes is that a wind turbine brake may be exposed to extreme conditions. These include being in places with very hot and cold temperatures.

When you choose a wind turbine brake you have to keep these things in mind.

The Size of Wind Turbines

Wind turbines are tall because the higher up it is, the windier the conditions are.

With more wind comes more electricity, or the potential to create more of it.

In fact, the average height of industrial wind turbines is around 328 feet! When you are considering a wind turbine brake, consider the size of your turbine.

If you have a shorter turbine for home use, you will need a smaller brake for it than if you own a large industrial wind turbine.

Emergency Stops

There is no way around it. There will be times when you have to make an emergency stop of your wind turbine. For example, it may be necessary during severe inclement weather.

When you have to make an emergency stop of your wind turbine, it’s crucial that your rotor braking system has a friction liner. This is because of the short timeframe in which you have to stop your wind turbine brake.

When you attempt to stop anything quickly — your car, your machinery, your wind turbine, etc. — this creates friction. And with friction comes heat.

A sufficient size friction liner helps the heat created by that friction dissipate. This will help protect your wind turbine from damage.

Choosing a Wind Turbine Brake

Wind turbines are a great source of alternative energy for a home or business but choosing the right wind turbine brake is important.

This is because of the large size of wind turbines and the height at which these machines operate. You want to choose a reliable wind turbine brake that will minimize maintenance. You also want to consider the rarer situations when an emergency stop is required.

Because of the friction created by the need to stop wind turbines quickly, a rotor system’s liner should be large enough to prevent it from overheating and causing further damage.

Picking a wind turbine brake is an important decision for you and your business. Taking the time to learn about these will help you save time (and money) in the future.

5 Things You Must Know About Crane Brakes

If your business uses a crane regularly it’s important for the safety of your customers, employees, and equipment that you understand the components that make up your tools.

As with all of your machinery, cranes have unique requirements for operation and maintenance.

For safe operation, no part is more important than crane brakes for protecting your people and assets.

Let’s make sure you know the ins and outs of crane brakes.

Here we go:

1. OSHA Requires Inspections for Crane Brakes

In addition to a thorough inspection that needs to take place whenever any repair occurs that might affect safety systems, OSHA requires regular inspections as standard procedure. 

2. Daily Inspections

In addition to regular inspections, OSHA requires daily inspections.

Operators are required to perform daily visual inspections of crane braking systems when used for construction. Should any deficiency be noted, it must be:

  • Assessed for safety
  • Taken offline if deemed unsafe
  • Repaired according to manufacturer guidelines
  • Inspected for proper completion of remedial action

Safe operations of your crane demand regular inspection. Even if employed for uses other than construction, the emergency brake needs to always be operational.

3. Different Brake Types

OSHA also requires that all cranes have two brake systems, a holding brake, and a control brake.

Both are essential to safe operations.

  • A Holding Brake holds a load to ensure safe operations. Even in the event of a power outage, a holding brake will hold the load.
  • A Control Brake controls the descent of the load. They slow the speed.

4. Overload Is Still an Issue

Too many owners and operators believe that since an emergency, or holding brake, is standard on all cranes, there are no issues of overload.

But improper loads, overuse, and deferred maintenance can damage your equipment and cause unsafe conditions.

5. Preventative Maintenance

Because of the OHSA regulations requiring inspection, too many industrial concerns defer maintenance of their crane brakes. Worse, if used for non-construction applications, they defer inspections too.

Waiting for an issue to crop up during a visual inspection or unrelated repair is waiting for the worst to happen.

Your manufacturer recommendations will provide valuable guidelines for the overall preventative maintenance of your crane.

Although your crane may be essential to daily operations, it’s important it is dependable and safe. In some cases, you may want to perform PM tasks more regularly if your crane is in heavy use.

This investment will improve the longevity of your equipment and reduce downtime.

Part of Your Overall Safe Operations

Your brake maintenance and troubleshooting efforts should be incorporated into standard operations. If your engineers and operators know what to look for you will save on accidents and cost.

And, as OSHA requirements demand the crane be taken offline with any issues, you will also be avoiding costly and unnecessary downtime.

Brakes are only a small part of an operations plan though. Putting it all together means getting trusted support and advice every step of the way.

Kor-Pak serves numerous industries, including steel, rail, energy (wind), mining, and oil. At Kor-Pak, we keep industries productive.

Our customers are important to us. Don’t wait to see how we can help with every aspect of your operations plan.

Contact us now and discover how Kor-Pak can help bring value to your business today.

How to Select the Best Torque Limiters to Meet Your Needs

No matter the industry, there are a few universal truths about heavy machinery:

It’s expensive.

It works hard.

Downtown costs money.

It’s incredibly important to take care of it.

When it comes to protecting and extending the life of your heavy machinery, there’s one piece of equipment that is vital — the torque limiter.

What do they do and how do you select the one that’s right for your needs? Keep reading for answers to these and more torque limiter questions.

What’s Torque and What Do Torque Limiters Do?

Let’s start by covering all the bases and making sure everyone knows what torque is.

Torque is generally associated with the power of a machine, be it a crane or a Corvette. How many of us first heard the term in a car commercial?

Without delving deep into the physics of it, the layman’s term definition of torque is “a twisting force that causes rotation.”

Torque is the force that determines how hard an engine works, whether it’s the sedan that carries our children to school or the crane that lifts fully-loaded shipping containers. The more torque an engine produces, the more work it can do.

The thing about torque is that not only is it powerful enough to propel objects to great distances and heights, it’s also powerful enough to damage the very machines that generate it.

That’s where torque limiters come in.

These devices, which are often referred to as clutches, control the amount of torque that the driveshaft of a car, truck, crane or another piece of machinery experiences at any given time.

In doing so, torque limiters prevent damage caused by mechanical overload.

How Do They Work?

Ok, so torque limiters protect our machines by doing just that — controlling the amount of torque they experience. But how?

Many ways.

Simple torque-limiting devices rely on a pin that connects two rotating objects.

When the spin they create becomes too great for the machine — that is when there is more torque than it can handle — the pin breaks. The machine stops. Damage is prevented.

Friction devices work sort of like the brakes in your car; a pair of friction linings grip the rotating drive component to decrease torque.

Ball and denet designs use the pressure of springs or pneumatic technology to cap torque. Magnetic and high-tech versions are also available.

Each of these versions range widely in terms of their applicability and, of course, cost.

For example, simple devices, the least expensive, are also the most unpredictable. Pins break at too low of levels, causing at best annoyance and at worst costly interruptions to your operation.

Magnetic versions, meanwhile, are best for low-torque applications.

It’s important to study up on the various torque-limiting devices available and choose the one that will not only keep your equipment up and running the short term, but operating well into the long term.

Kor-Pak offers a wide range of torque-limiting devices and services — and much more. Contact us today for information on how we can serve you.


5 Signs It’s Time for Crane Modernization and Upgrades

5 Signs It’s Time for Crane Modernization and Upgrades

Safe use of a crane is an absolute necessity for many businesses and industrial concerns. Without the lifting power and transport capabilities of a crane, your operations can grind to a halt.

Unfortunately, many businesses wait too long to act on crane modernization. They see the expense as too costly to justify.

But the truth is if you don’t update your important equipment and machinery the costs are impossible to recover. Beyond tragic safety issues, you will be risking the loss of your competitive edge.

If crane use is important to your business it’s important to know when to update or upgrade your equipment.

Let’s find out when it’s time. Here we go:

1. Daily Inspections Reveal Deficiencies

Because OSHA requires your crane to have a daily visual inspection prior to operations, any deficiency can take it offline.

And, until the deficiency is remedied and deemed safe by a designee, your company will be losing productivity.

If daily inspections are frequently taking your crane offline it is time to consider an investment.

2. Performance Is Lagging

There have been many upgrades to crane technology over the years. If your crane is older, it may not have the benefit of the newest technology.

Modernizing your crane doesn’t always mean replacing the asset. An upgrade effort could include installing new software, drives, or controls.

3. You Need More Capacity

If your crane is not handling the loads you would like, it can cost man hours and significant energy costs making extra loads. A modernization effort can help increase capacity.

Your crane will be operating more efficiently.

4. Your Control is Suffering

With an upgrade, you can install radio and infrared controls in your crane. Enhancing control means more efficient performance.

And more efficiency means cost savings through investment.

5. Crane Modernization and Cost Benefit Analysis

In a thorough preventative or predictive maintenance program, crane modernization should never be a surprise capital expense. The asset is necessary to your business, and its efficient operation requires maintenance.

A thorough cost-benefit analysis (CBA) will reveal when it’s time to modernize your equipment. Don’t wait for costly downtime and unnecessary repairs.

Updating your equipment should be part of a well-thought-out process. Using a template for a CBA will help you analyze when it’s time to upgrade or update.

Rather than risk expensive and ineffective repairs, unsafe operation, and significant downtime, updating your crane should show a payoff timeline.

Integrating your crane update into your tax planning and capital improvement plan will help every facet of your business as well.

An Integrated Operations Plan

Just like your cranes are essential for operations, so is all of your industrial equipment. A great integrated strategy means considering the value of all of your machinery and assets to your customers, owners, and employees.

The right equipment means you are invaluable to industry. At Kor-Pak we help our customers boost value and deliver more money to their bottom line.

Kor-Pak serves numerous industries, including steel, rail, energy (wind), mining, and oil. At Kor-Pak, we keep industries productive.

Our customers are important to us. Don’t wait to see how we can help with every aspect of your operations plan.

Contact us now and discover how Kor-Pak can help bring value to your business today.

Ultimate Guide to Industrial Gearbox Maintenance

It’s always a headache when an industrial gearbox fails and you don’t know why. Maybe the gearbox is making an awful noise or isn’t working like normal. Usually, you know something is wrong and it’s going to take some investigative work to figure out.

Proper and regular maintenance can help prevent these headaches. An industrial gearbox is a machine and will wear down just like any other. You can keep it running.

Here is a handy guide to keeping your gearbox healthy for a long time.

Regular Use And Inspection

All industrial gearboxes are designed to be used in a specific way. They will include specific guidelines and use ratings to help you use them correctly. When a gearbox functions outside of these parameters, this can cause issues.

Be sure to use the gearbox as intended and check it regularly. Look for signs of wear and issue. Abnormal noises, overheating, and decreased performance can all indicate an issue needs to be fixed.


Lubrication Maintenance

Proper maintenance should focus on keeping the gearbox in normal running condition. During normal use, a gearbox will damage itself. Overtime, this damage can build up.

A gearbox’s lubrication and oil should be your first stop. Lubrication helps reduce friction on moving parts so gear changes occur smoothly. To do this, special oil or lubrication is required.

Many times, the lubricating liquid will become contaminated with little particles of dust and other matter. In this case, the lubrication should be replaced. Changing the lubrication regularly can help keep everything pure without having to look for containments.


Advanced Maintenance

Regular maintenance will help keep the gearbox functioning by repairing or replacing the parts that see the most use. Parts that frequently wear out first should be taken care of immediately.

Many parts in the gearbox are important for the transmission changes. Parts such as the gears will normally wear out over time through normal use. This can be accelerated if the lubrication isn’t changed regularly.

When an issue like this comes up, it’s best to replace the specific part and any additional parts connected to it. Some repairs require the replacement of a whole assembly.

Contamination control is another area you can frequently repair. The seals, filters, and breathers that keep foreign contaminants out will require replacing over time. If you ignore these parts, the gearbox will be vulnerable to foreign matter which can increase wear on the inside and affect the lubrication.

Most of these individual units can be replaced on an individual basis. Good shops will keep a healthy supply of these parts on hand.

You should also inspect these parts frequently, both on the inside and outside of the box.


Keeping The Industrial Gearbox Healthy

Avoid a headache with some regular maintenance. You should be consistent with your inspections and maintenance. Make it a routine and stick with it.

If you can do this, you should notice a remarkable improvement in the gearbox’s overall performance and lifespan.

For more help and information, get in touch with us.

Two crane's baskets against clear sky. Lifters in blue and yellow

Why You Need to Be Doing Regular Crane Maintenance

Why You Need to Be Doing Regular Crane Maintenance

Are you doing your best to keep your workers safe?

Regular crane maintenance is crucial for the safety of your employees. Like any large machine, a crane can wear down after a while.

Since cranes move very heavy objects, there are many parts that wear down quickly. This can cause materials to drop unexpectedly, and it puts your workers in danger.

There are many types of cranes out there, including wall cranes, gantry, semi-gantry, etc. However, all of them are exposed to the same risks.

If you want to find out more about crane maintenance, read on. We crafted a mini guide on what parts are more susceptible to risks and how often you need to check your crane.

The crane parts that are at high risk and daily inspections

They are a couple of daily inspections that you could do yourself to ensure the safety of your working site.

Some of the most important inspections that should be done daily are:

  • Look for maladjustments in the operating mechanisms.
  • Check the hydraulic and pneumatic parts for intense deterioration and leakage.
  • Look for cracks, crevices, and deformation in the hooks.
  • Look for any damage in the chains.

Safety concerns

Accidents provoked by faulty cranes are quite costly when it comes to equipment, materials, and injuries to your employees. You will also have to face the OSHA fines for not investing in your crane maintenance.

On top of the direct costs and the OSHA fines, you will also have to face the lawsuits from property owners and the families of your workers who have been injured.

Most of the time, these tragic events happen simply because the work personnel is not educated properly in handling cranes. Also, a lack of crane maintenance is also to blame.

One of the first steps you can take to improve the safety of your workers is to hire certified crane operators. Someone who does not know what they are doing when handling a crane could cause a lot of damage financially and ruin human lives.

How crane maintenance has changed over the years

An annual inspection is only the tip of the iceberg. Some inspections should be done daily while others periodically, such as electrical components, load indicators, brakes, etc.

Why has crane maintenance changed?

In the past cranes were made out of a strong alloy that was more resistant to heavier weights and mishandling.

Today, the materials used are not that strong and they cannot be abused as much as their older counterparts. Not to mention that many cranes, even the older ones, suffer from working decades in extreme temperatures. This can cause the cranes to lose structural strength and provoke a lot of damage.

Make sure a crane never lifts a heavier load than recommended.

Wrapping up

Ensuring the safety of the machines you are working with saves you not only money, but it can save lives too.

Make sure your workers are trained properly and are well aware of the risks of mishandling and abusing a crane.

If you want to find out more about crane maintenance, do not hesitate to check our blog. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us

Why Altra Couplings Are One of The Best Types of Couplings

Once you have bought a powerful new pump and motor, you will have to make your next big buy: the coupling.

The coupling will be able to connect the two to improve their efficiency. Not to mention preventing wear and tear.

An ideal world would make coupling the driven and driving shafts a doddle.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, as they vibrate, move and realign.

Yet, there are couplings to help you to overcome many systems’ flaws.

One of the best types of couplings is, of course, the Altra couplings, and here is why…

The Latest Technologies

Altra is one of the most popular types of couplings, as it offers the latest in coupling technology.

As well as an impeccable design, Altra’s high-quality couplings ensure long-lasting performance. As a result, they are ideal for all environments.

It is unsurprising that many companies use the highly-engineered couplings for various applications.

The Four Different Types of Couplings

Altra has separated their couplings into four areas to meet customers’ needs.

The four Altra coupling types are:

  • High-performance products
  • High torque products
  • General industrial products
  • Precision products

So, it is possible to discover the appropriate coupling solution for any application.

The Altra Brands

For more than 150 years, Altra has been providing leading brands, such as:

  • Ameridrives
  • TB Wood’s
  • Bibby Turboflex
  • Guardian
  • Huco
  • Ameridrives Power Transmissions

Altra is proud to be the only supplier that can supply any coupling need.

So, it isn’t hard to see why they have captured the market, as they can support a wide range of industries.

Yet, they do state their target industries are:

  • Energy & power generation
  • Oil & gas
  • Petrochemical
  • Binding and metals

Flexible & Affordable Couplings

As you can choose from many types of couplings, you will have greater flexibility.

Customers can choose from lowest installed cost or lowest lifetime costs. So, there is a coupling to suit your needs and budget.

So, whether your focus is long-life or serviceability, you will be able to find the right Altra coupling.

Why Do You Need the Right Coupling?

Weather conditions, operational environments, and foundations are subject to change.

Couplings help systems adapt to these changes, but you shouldn’t settle for any coupling.

It is vital you select the right coupling that is the perfect size for the pump application.

If you don’t, the coupling may not absorb power, counteract misalignment or recover an axial movement.


Couplings determine a pump and motor’s performance, as well as a site’s productivity.

So, it’s important to only select high-quality, adaptable couplings to suit an application.

Otherwise, you might fail to protect the systems, absorb shock or adjust to a misalignment.

Altar’s longevity is, without a doubt, a testament to the quality of their products.

With many types of couplings to choose from, you can be sure you will find the perfect option for your needs.

Do you have any tips when it comes to picking the perfect couplings? We would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below.

Taking Care of Your Marland Clutch

Taking care of industrial equipment can seem daunting.

Luckily, with Marland clutch you can be sure that you’re getting a great product. As an industry leader, their equipment is built to last.

That said, there are a few things you should be doing to keep your Marland clutch running smoothly.

Looking over their service manual can be a big help, but when it comes to maintenance, there are some key things to keep in mind.

Keep an eye on your oil

Marland clutch units come with 2 oil gauges.

On the CECON units, these are located at the end of the clutch housing and the bottom of the side of the clutch housing.

The one at the end gives the minimum oil level for when the unit is in continuous operation. The one at the bottom is for the static oil level.

The oil level should be at or above the sight gauge. Make sure that your oil suppliers are clean, or it might get your Marland clutch dirty.

You should be sampling your oil regularly through the sampling or drain valve. This can be done while the unit is running!

What to do when your Marland clutch needs oil maintenance

If the oil levels are simply low, adding new oil is enough. This can be done without turning off your clutch.

Sometimes, however, the oil needs to be changed completely. This should be done once a year, or if the oil sample shows that it needs it.

The drain valve can be used to remove the contaminated oil. Then the replacement oil may be added through the oil fill hole.

You cannot change the oil completely while the Marland clutch is running, though. If your unit is running, you cannot withdraw more than 1 quart at a time.

Other problems?

There are some other things you should do to keep your Marland clutch running smoothly and functionally, besides doing regular oil maintenance.

For example, your breather-filter should be cleaned regularly. How often depends on its condition, so make sure to keep an eye on it.

To keep the couplings in good condition, make sure that you’re following the manufacturer recommendations.

Sometimes, however, there are some things you can’t solve on your own. That’s when you need to bring in professionals, or you can wind up seriously damaging the equipment or yourself.

If you have any problems that require disassembly and repair, do not do it yourself. You should contact Marland Clutch directly for any issues of that kind.

The equipment can be dangerous, so make sure you’re staying abreast of regulations

You should also be staying up to date on industry news.

Doing so keeps you knowing the codes and things that are in place. These are designed to help you take care of your Marland clutch — or any equipment!

And if you are looking for a certain product without any success, get in touch and let’s help you find it.

Why You Should Invest in quality SEW-Eurodrive Motors

Why You Should Invest in quality SEW-Eurodrive Motors

SEW-Eurodrive Motors won the “European Motor Drive Vendor of the Year” in 2003.

Since then, they’ve still been one of the best motors on the market.

You might work with gearmotors. But do you have the best gearmotors working for you?

You want the best components so that you come out with the best products.

Here’s why you should invest in SEW-Eurodrive motors.

SEW-Eurodrive Motors Will Be A Valuable Addition To Your Operation

If you’re looking for gearmotors, SEW-Eurodrive motors have a wide selection.

From their Helical Gearmotor R Series to their VARIMOT variable speed gearmotor, you’ll find the exact fit for your application.

Helical Gearmotor R Series

This series comes in six single-stage, fourteen two-stage, and three-stage sizes.

It will give you high torque density.

It’s known for its long service life.

And they even feature a reduced backlash option.

Helical-Bevel Gearmotor K Series

This motor series features high power density. And this coupled with an efficiency factor of over 90% in both torque directions, will provide high performance.

It’s a multistage unit with perfectly low output speeds.

And again, like a lot of the SEW-Eurodrive motors, you can order a reduced backlash option for their three-stage version.

Helical-Worm Gearmotor S Series

This motor features great economical operation with low noise.

SEW-Eurodrive has made these units much more efficient than standard helical gearmotors.

These are perfect for simple applications as they’re low cost and low noise.

Spiroplan Gearmotor W Series

Another low noise option, the Spiroplan is also another economical option.

That’s one great thing about SEW-Eurodrive. They have some great motors at low cost. Value for dollars.

It features lifelong lubrication and a light housing made of aluminum.

The gearing is wear-free and maintenance-free.

You can install them in any mounting position. And you don’t have to worry about altering the quantity of oil present.

It comes in a foot-mounted or flange-mounted model.

And you can get a solid or hollow shaft model of this gearmotor.

VARIMOT Variable Speed Gearmotor

This unit was built with a modular concept in mind.

You can use variable speed drives and combine low output speed and high output torque for a great combination.

This gearmotor can be combined with helical, helical-bevel, parallel-shaft helical, and helical-worm gear units. This is quite effective, especially at low speeds.

With this model, you can have increased torque at the very start of your operation.

It permits large overhung loads of gear units and the number of finely stepped gear ratios is quite large.

It’s easy to operate like a lot of SEW-Eurodrive’s gearmotors.

You can order this unit with either manual or remote speed control. And it’s always possible to adjust the speed mechanically if you need.

So, whether you’re selling gearmotors, or using them in the field, it’s a good idea to invest in SEW-Eurodrive motors.

They’re easy to operate, well-built, and last for years.

Your operation will go much more smoothly with these gearmotors working for you.

If you want to know more about gearmotors, subscribe to our newsletter below.