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Gear units for Sugarloaf

Gear units for Sugarloaf Mountain Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro is one of the most famous landmarks in the world. It is thus not surprising that every tourist wants to enjoy the view of the beautiful vista made up of the sea, city, and Christ the Redeemer statue. To ensure that operations continue to run smoothly in future, modern Flender gear units were installed in the cableway that runs to the peak of the mountain as part of a retrofit project. The individuals responsible for the prestigious project decided to choose a premium supplier from Germany. Author: Andreas Lüdiger is Vice President Service Sales at Flender GmbH in Bocholt, Germany MOTION AND DRIVES Thousands of tourists want to “scale” the world famous Sugarloaf Mountain in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. A column-free cableway takes tourists up the 395 m tall granite rock that protrudes out of the sea. Tourists start at sea level taking the first cableway to Morro da Urca from where they can catch a second cableway, often referred to as “O Bondinho”, to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. At the summit you are rewarded with a panoramic view of the open sea, the city of Rio de Janeiro nestled between the cliffs, the famous beach at Copacabana, and the world famous, 38 m tall statue of Christ the Redeemer located at the peak of the Corcovado mountain about five kilometers away. The first cableway was placed into operation in 1912/13 and was renewed in 1972 to accommodate the rising number of visitors. A good forty years later, it was time to complete a comprehensive technical modernization to be able to guarantee the continuous fault-free operation for the around 1.5 million tourists from all around the world that visit Sugarloaf Mountain each year. “As the world’s leading manufacturer of gear transmissions, Flender was selected by the operating company to supply the new gear units for this prestigious retrofit project,” reports Andreas Lüdiger, Vice President Service Sales at Flender GmbH based in Voerde, Germany. Gear units for immediate installation A deciding factor was that the gear specialist was able to guarantee a plug & play solution. This meant that the new gear units were calculated based on the standard Flender gear unit system and then adapted to the existing connecting dimensions. In line with gear technology, that has continuously been improved over the decades, high-quality gear units with an even higher service factor than those previously used on Sugarloaf Mountain have now been installed. “For the operator, this basically means that they have invested in sustainability, which on the one hand is based on the “Made in Germany” quality seal and on the other relies on a significantly higher level of operational safety,” explains the Vice President Service Sales. With more than one million variants, Flender’s range of helical and bevel-helical gear units is the most comprehensive range of gear units in the world. “Our customers also realize that we by far offer the most comprehensive range of industrial gear units worldwide,” emphasizes Andreas Lüdiger. The associated flexibility this can offer in conjunction with decades of specialist knowledge, and the large production capacity are often the deciding factors when 20 WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 2/2019

02 Andreas Lüdiger (left) with Diego Scofano – Technical Director of the Sugarloaf Mountain cableway 01 The Sugarloaf Mountain gear units were delivered ready-to-install so that no modifications had to be made to the existing structure 03 With more than one million variants of the helical gear unit system from Flender, it is the world’s largest range of industrial gear units awarding contracts, such as the Sugarloaf Mountain project. The nominal transmission ratio of the gear units ranges from i=1.25 to a value of 450. The nominal torque ratio ranges from TKN=3 100 Nm to 1,400,000 Nm available in 28 sizes. Suitable solution for every retrofit “With our extensive range of gear units, everyone will find a suitable solution for their retrofit project,” guarantees Andreas Lüdiger. Two Flender bevel-helical manual gear units with a similar structure are being used at the intermediate station on both of the cableways on Sugarloaf Mountain. Two input shafts, that are offset at a right angle, are driven by two three-phase asynchronous motors. Activation will ensure that the transport performance can be adjusted accordingly if the number of passengers increases. The power at the output shaft can thus be increased to a maximum value of 250 kW. The bevel-helical gear unit weighs approx. 3.7 t and, just like the second gear unit, was able to be transported through the gate of the technical building. Andreas Lüdiger explains: “It is particularly important on retrofit projects that the optimum structural requirements are taken into consideration. As a premium gear unit manufacturer, we are able to build complete gear unit solutions that are as compact as possible and comprise high-quality geared parts and special sealing elements.” A „near-series”, ready-to-fit total solution of this kind was also delivered for this Brazilian prestige project. The axis heights and mounting dimensions on the base are designed in such a way that no minor alterations or adjustments were required on site. The new gear unit was installed within a few days thus ensuring that the tourists on Sugarloaf Mountain will continue to be transported safely in future. The motors have an initial speed of 1500 rpm, that is throttled to the speed (73.57) of the drive wheel on the cableways by the Flender gear units. Standard gear unit with cableway modifications Particular specifications must be met when equipping cableways. In addition to the engineering specifications and calculations based on cableway standards, the thermal application limits also play an important role. In this respect, Flender products cover a temperature range of -30°C to +40°C and the company also supplies additional heating units and various cooling system, if required. “The deciding factor is that the gear unit solutions are operationally safe, have a long service life, and are sustainable,” explains the Flender Service Sales manager. This means that standard gear units with cableway modifications are compact, have been optimized with regard to their noise levels and weight, and will operate for decades without any faults. Other advantages that the operators of the Sugarloaf Mountain cableway also greatly appreciate include the option to procure spare parts from the standard range of products, as well as the fast and professional reaction to service requests. The close proximity of the Brazilian Flender partner in Rio de Janeiro, just a few kilometers from Sugarloaf Mountain offers the operator of the prestigious cableway on Sugarloaf Mountain an additional level of security. “This enables us to strengthen our image as a premium supplier meeting the highest level of quality and service requirements,” explains industry expert Lüdiger. Gear units for a sustainable retrofit With just six months between the contract being awarded and delivery of both of the ready-to-install cableway gear units, the gear unit manufacturer demonstrated its ability to react quickly. At the same time, the customer also benefits from the intrinsic values developed during the retrofit project. These include the increased level of service – a direct result of the improved technology. In comparison to the original gear units from 1972, which were designed as tooth flanks and self-hardened as standard, the ones in use today are case-hardened and smoothed thus making them considerably more torque-resistant. Gearing technology as such has also become more powerful, which in turn affects the efficiency. The roller bearings have become significantly more powerful and have a longer service life compared to those of a similar caliber. “Over the decades, many of the gearing technology parameters have been gradually optimized, so that basically all retrofit projects benefit greatly,” summarizes Flender Service Sales Manager, Andreas Lüdiger. His conclusion: “When working with a premium gear unit manufacturer as a partner, modernizations such as the ones that were part of the prestigious Sugarloaf Mountain cableway project can be implemented quickly, con veniently, and sustainably.” WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 2/2019 21


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