X.e Industrial Gear Units to be assembled in Johannesburg

Greg Perry of SEW-EURODRIVE highlights the advantages of Generation X.e industrial gear units and the benefits of assembling these units locally in SEW’s new 26 000 m2 factory in Aeroton, Johannesburg.

“To cater for our growing customer base in markets across Africa, it has become necessary to increase local production capacities. Our new SEW-EURODRIVE building in Aeroton, Johannesburg, which will house our head office as well as assembly, warehousing and repair facilities, are now complete and we are currently in the final stages of laying out the assembly lines for geared motors and industrial gearboxes,” begins Greg Perry, National Operations Manager for SEW-EURODRIVE in South Africa.

Geared motors, industrial gears (IGs), VSD’s, AGV’s and servo motors will all be assembled in the new factory, with space to also conduct repairs on SEW and non-SEW units.


“The Johannesburg assembly lines for geared motors is designed for 7 000 units per month, and we are planning to build up to 100 IG units per month, doubling our current capacity. New spray booths and automated oil filling stations are being installed to cater for these volumes.

All local assembly of gearboxes, VSDs and servo motors is conducted in accordance with SEW-EURODRIVE’s global quality standards and SEW South Africa is already certified by Germany’s quality department. In addition to this, we have ISO 9001 quality certification. The standardised assembly and logistics processes are now incorporated into SEW-EURODRIVE’s SAP system, which will give better traceability and visibility of all orders as they move through the assembly processes.

“We are starting to design the assembly flows for our X.e range, and we will be adding additional industrial gearboxes ranges as time goes by. Initially, we will be assembling the Generation X.e Series in sizes from 120 to size 250, which embraces nominal torque classes from 12.8 to 175 kNm,” he says.

The flagship Generation X.e Series

The latest generation SEW-EURODRIVE industrial gear units in the X.e series have been purposefully designed with a host of new improvements to be more robust, reliable, efficient and easier to maintain.

This modular series is designed to be custom-built based on the exact needs specified by clients, most notably by significantly increasing the number of possible torque/speed combinations and fine-size graduations. A large number of additional modular features and options, such as motor adapters, backstops, various sealing and shaft systems and many more, also add to ease of use and reliability of X.e Series systems.

Key applications across Africa include:

  • Conveyor drives, which are often required to operate in extremely dusty and very hot or cold conditions. Due to new thermally optimised housings, particularly in the X180 and above sizes, along with the contact-free Taconite sealing system design, these drives offer excellent reliability under these conditions.
  • For hoists, which often feature the rope drum and the motor on the same side of a parallel-shaft unit, the X.e hoist series offers an optimised choice of gear unit sizes, reduced gear unit weight and sufficient centre distances.
  • For bucket elevators required to lift bulk materials, the drive needs to be operated at low speed during maintenance. X.e series bucket elevator drives are equipped with a directly mounted auxiliary drive to perform this function while the main motor is switched off.
  • For agitator and aerator drives, X.e agitator gear units in the 22 to 90 kNm size range have extended bearing distances to absorb high radial and axial forces. In addition, due to their thermally optimised housings, these units can be used without external cooling, even in high performance agitation applications.

Perry also cites the use of the new X.e range in girth gear applications, where the new generation units have become the global standard for use with SEW-EURODRIVE’s mill drive solution.

Other key improvement include:

· Contactless sealing systems, which reduce shaft and seal wear, improving reliably and service life.

· Thermally improved oil levels reduce oil use, extend oil change intervals and improves the thermal performance of the units.

· Optimised bearing preload, which gives users a choice between greater operating reliability in critical drive conditions or a longer bearing service life in moderate conditions.

· An improved bevel pinion housing, which offers an increase in the service life of the sealing systems and an improvement in cold starting behaviour. 

· Optimised tooth flank topology, which involves optimising the microgeometry of the gear tooth surfaces to enable the operating torques and external forces to be transferred more accurately and reliably.

· SEW-EURODRIVE’s DriveRadar® Suite of condition monitoring solutions for vibration, temperature and other key parameters can be seamlessly incorporated for early detection of damage to bearings or gears and to provide instant notifications to equipment operators about potential problems.

“When the new X.e assembly line is up and running at our factory in a few months’ time, we expect our delivery times, from receiving an order to shipping to site, to be significantly reduced,” Perry assures.

“We will also be in a better than ever position to deliver complete drive systems to industry, including system components such as couplings, brakes and sensors, all of which can be pre-mounted on a baseplate, along with VSDs, soft starters, sensors and all the connectivity needed to link to a customer’s control interface,” he concludes.

Web: www.sew-eurodrive.co.za

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