At last week’s PTDA Canadian Conference in Ottawa, I had the chance to speak with John Sousa from Bison Gear and Engineering Corp. about their new PowerSTAR line of gearboxes.
Sousa said the PowerSTAR was developed because they wanted to come out with an energy efficient gearbox that has a right angle configuration.
“Typically, worm gearboxes—and let’s pick a ration of 50:1–would be about 50% efficient. Whereas our PowerSTAR gearbox at 240:1 because of the hypoid gear set is 83% to 86% efficient. So there’s quite a difference in efficiency,” he said. “Not only that, with these gearboxes, if you were to do a right angle worm and you wanted, let’s say 100:1 gear ratio, you would have probably a double reduction where you would have one gearbox feeding into another. This gearbox you can get 240:1 in this small compact design. There’s no extra gearbox, it’s just the gear-sets that will give you that reduction.”
Sousa explained that while the hypoid gear is not anything new, it most certainly is new in this sort of industrial application.
“It’s similar to the gear-set that you would have in the differential on a car,” Sousa said. “It almost looks like a spiral bevel set, but it has more of a mechanical advantage. We are pretty proud of this. Our brochure lists three different sizes based on torque ratings, although we actually have four sizes now—the largest size, we’ve expanded it.”
And he explained that Bison is eyeing multiple industries as suitable for using this product.
“The original market we were looking to go after were chip conveyors, any packaging conveyors, small conveyors. These things run quiet, they run cool, because they are efficient,” he said. “Basically, we’ve run these for years, 24/7, and taken them apart and seen hardly any wear in them.”