The introduction of drum motors for belt conveyor application entered the North American market in the 80’s as a new conveyor drive design, although it was first developed thirty years earlier. Until this time, belt conveyors with externally mounted motor and gearbox have been the sole method of powering a conveyor belt. The new conveyor drive design incorporates the drive components, such as the motor, gear reducer, and bearings internally, inside the drive roller or drum. With no exposed drive components and no other rotating parts outside the conveyor frame, the drum motor presented a unique belt drive solution with benefits includin­g safety, increased efficiency, and space optimization. However, the drum motor design exhibited a number of issues. Addressing the challenges of this new conveyor drive design required expansive research, and significant time and cost investment in order to develop a new redesigned version of the drum motor. This white paper reveals the source of the limitations of the drum motor design and details the VDG two-year study that has succeeded to the development of the new advanced drum motor design offered today.


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