Featured Vendor Case Study: Sumitomo

OTP’s featured vendor this month is Sumitomo. Sumitomo Drive Technologies, or Sumitomo Machinery
Corporation of America (SMA), is one of the largest manufacturers of machinery in Japan—and the
global leader in power transmission knowledge and innovation. OTP proudly distributes Sumitomo
products to our customers.

Learn more about Sumitomo from one of their recent case studies:

Paramax Retrofits1

Paramax Retrofits

Companies need efficient, compact equipment to operate their facilities effectively. Changes to existing
designs can prove to be costly. With limited space and pricing as major factors, facilities need to bring
in machinery that does not disrupt the current design’s integrity. When existing equipment is obsolete
or in need of upgrading, one of the best solutions for companies is to retrofit new equipment into pre-­
existing spaces.

Sumitomo manufactures reducers that offer optimized gear tooth geometry. Its Paramax® series
reducer features a 25-­degree pressure angle and compact housing design, which generates more
torque out of a smaller package—whether it is horizontal, vertical or an upright installation. More torque
from a smaller package makes the Paramax reducer an ideal choice for retrofitting older, obsolete

The Paramax® series is a heavy-­duty line of reducers that assists in chemical, mining, paper
manufacturing, plastic and rubber, and power generation, saving larger industries from costly changes,
while keeping equipment running smoothly.

Contact OTP today to learn more or request a quote for a Sumitomo product.

Tsubaki SMART TOOTH™ Sprockets Use Patented Wear Indicator Technology

U.S. Tsubaki Smart Tooth

U.S. Tsubaki Power Transmission, LLC’s new Tsubaki SMART TOOTH™ sprockets use its patented Wear Indicator Technology, allowing OTP customers to identify and schedule drive system maintenance before critical component failure occurs.

When non-scheduled downtime costs are not acceptable, implementation of SMART TOOTH™ technology is the only answer. When maintenance personnel strategically places one of Tsubaki’s patented Wear Indicator pins on one or more sprocket teeth, it is easier than ever to visually identify if a sprocket is still within allowable wear tolerance or if it needs to be replaced.

Understanding when to replace a SMART TOOTH™ sprocket is simple. Friction from chain pressure wears down the material of a sprocket tooth, and when the Wear Indicator pin becomes visible, it is time to replace the sprocket.

Tsubaki SMART TOOTH™ sprockets stand apart from all other sprockets in the industry. Wear Indicator pins come standard on three sprocket teeth, ensuring they are visible on any application—no matter which part of the sprocket is covered. Tsubaki has also included the latest laser etching technology in which Tsubaki “SMART TOOTH™” will be etched directly below each indicator pin, providing even more visibility for the end user. All Tsubaki SMART TOOTH™ sprockets are shipped with a special blue coating, making it easy to identify which sprockets have wear indicators so that when you see the blue, you know Tsubaki is working hard for you.

U.S. Tsubaki offers SMART TOOTH™ on a wide variety of engineering class and roller chain sprockets for a variety of applications including mining, cement, asphalt, oil and gas and many more. Please contact OTP Industrial Solutions to see if your sprockets qualify for this high-value option.

To learn more about SMART TOOTH™, download the brochure or contact the OTP experts. They can answer all of your questions about Tsubaki products.

Speedier, Easier Reset Option Now Available for Torque Limiters

By Rob Hucker, Product Manager; Rexnord
Rexnord Autogard Torque Limiter

Do you ever face minutes to hours of downtime due to torque overload in industries such as energy, metal processing, mining, aggregates, automotive, food processing or pulp and paper?

Reduce Downtime with New Torque Limiter Option

A new torque limiter option is newly available from Rexnord for applications that are susceptible to torque overload. The Autogard® 820 Remote-Reset Torque Limiter is a first-of-its-kind option, allowing users to reset the device from a distance and eliminate traditional, hands-on labor requirements. This innovation can reduce downtime by anywhere from minutes to hours for manufacturers.

Mechanical torque limiters play an important role in limiting damage that can be caused by jams and overloads. However, the downtime caused by a disengaged torque limiter still causes work stoppage until a support person is available to take on what can be a time-consuming, manual reset process. The Autogard® 820 Remote-Reset Torque Limiter changes that. It was developed based on customers’ requests for a speedier, easier reset option for high-torque applications. We’ve solved the problem with a remote-reset feature, meaning personnel can quickly reset the torque limiter can from anywhere onsite or offsite with the touch of a button, flip of a switch, or click of a mouse.

It no longer takes manpower to physically reset a unit. This new offering can translate to more-immediate uptime, a value to any user of torque limiters. No special tools are required. Speeds are supported up to 2,400 rpm.


The Autogard® 820 Series Remote-Reset Torque Limiter can be installed independently or as a retrofit upgrade to existing Autogard 820 Series Torque Limiters.

To learn more about the Autogard® 820 Series, view a video demonstration or contact the OTP experts for all of your Rexnord product needs!


u.s. tsubaki cam clutch

OTP customers benefit from U.S. Tsubaki Power Transmission, LLC’s Cam Clutch product line in several ways.

Complete and Versatile One-Way Clutch Selection

Tsubaki engineers have designed and improved uni-directional/mechanical clutches to meet the demanding needs of their customers and the marketplace. These precision devices, which lock the inner and outer races through the locking action of cams, transmit torque in one direction of rotation while overrunning in the other. The vast experience of Tsubaki’s engineers has led to great innovation, allowing Tsubaki to offer the most complete and versatile selection of one-way clutches in the industry.

Greater Cost Efficiency and Performance

Tsubaki uses precision formed cams made of a special alloy steel that provide extended wear, increased fatigue life, and greater torque holding capacity. In addition, the races are made of high quality alloy steel with high surface hardness and core toughness. The races are precision ground to provide excellent concentricity and improved surface finish to enable reduced friction and longer life.

Tsubaki offers a wide variety cam clutch products to fit the specific needs of each application, from backstop cam clutches to general indexing and overrunning clutches.

To learn how Tsubaki’s Cam Clutch offerings can help improve your operation, contact the experts at OTP Industrial Solutions.

A Practical Application of Smart Gearbox Technology

By Sumitomo Drive Technologies


The gearbox is a critical component within individual operations. The conveyors that run 24 hours a day rely on the gearboxes to convert speed and torque into motion. Without proper maintenance, regardless of the gearbox design, the useable life of the gearbox could be significantly shorter than desired. Figure-2

Many of the larger facilities have hundreds, if not thousands, of gearboxes in operation and there are not enough maintenance technicians to perform the required oil replenishment. Companies often decide to refrain from performing any kind of maintenance to the equipment in order to save on cost and time. The cost savings is only short-term. The lack of lubrication will cause the gearbox to fail prematurely. Figure 1

This provides a new opportunity to develop the gearbox technology, Smart Gearbox, that essentially advises when the maintenance is needed to avoid costly downtime. With the Smart Gearbox technology, downtimes can become aligned with the set schedule that has been proven profitable for customers.


The Sumitomo Cyclo Reducer is unique in the use of the eccentric cam and Cyclo disc arrangement. This revolutionary design provides quiet, efficient, and reliable performance exceeding that of involute tooth gear designs.

The facility selected for this case study has a very large installed base of Sumitomo Cyclo® products. There are approximately 300 units in operation at the location and roughly 20 “unique” units that are the same Cyclo frame size. Each one of these units is installed in applications that vary greatly in regards to loading criteria, run time, duty cycle, etc. Eight of the gearboxes were tested 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a length of 12 months. This allowed for gearbox vibration, gearbox temperature, ambient temperature, motor amperage, and motor frequency to be tested for all climate conditions throughout the year.


The Smart Gearbox technology would make reliance upon estimations, and the costly consequences, a thing of the past. The potential for a Smart Gearbox provides time and cost saving solutions. Many different facilities, in a variety of proactive industries, are becoming more reliant on maintenance to keep their equipment running optimally. The ability to anticipate downtime allows the maintenance staff to prioritize its resources accordingly with the Smart Gearbox technology.

For more information on Smart Gearbox technology, contact the OTP experts.


By Kerry Manworren

Every motion control system is different and unique. There is not a single universal answer, but there is almost always a possibility to increase your efficiency.

What is efficiency? Efficiency can be measured as:


First, look at every component of your system. Is the motor high efficiency? Are you using a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD)? Are you using a chain, belt or direct drive? Is your gear reducer a worm, helical, cycloidal? Are you driving a ballscrew? Is it a rolled thread or a cut thread? Of course, there are other potential components to a system, but we will only tackle the ones I have mentioned here.


Let’s look at the motor first. Is your motor pre EPACT? If so, it could be as low as 70% efficient, whereas a new motor will be at least 90% efficient.


A Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) can help you get your speed exactly where it needs to be without using various other components to try to come close to the speed you need to get your highest yield


Chain drives are about 98% efficient but are limited by feet per minute. Belt drives are about 95% efficient and are better for higher speeds. Direct drives are the most efficient but usually the hardest to use because of the lack of torque and the excessive speed.


If you are using a reducer, the type will determine your efficiency. A worm gear will be 70% to 76% efficient. A helical or cycloidal will be 90% to 95% efficient.


A rolled thread ballscrew vs. a ground thread ballscrew is 10 times less efficient due to the co-efficient of drag. Look at your bearings, quality comes at a cost but a ground thread ballscrew will provide you with 10 times more efficiency.

You can always make a motion control system more efficient by looking at not only the drive components but also the system components. Request a payoff calculation, formulated by your local OTP Industrial Solutions sales engineer. Our mechanical experts can help you assess and drive efficiency into your motion control system.


By Rob Raggard

How do you know for sure that you have consumed all of the useful life out of your chain?
With proper selection, installation, maintenance and lubrication, a system should achieve up to 2-3% elongation before the chain needs to be replaced.


Chain wear or chain pitch elongation (“stretch”) is the increase in measured chain length due to wear or excessive load.


This is expressed as a percentage (%) increase in length.

Chain wear diagram
Chain Wear Diagram


how to measure chain wear
How to Measure Chain Wear

1. Pull the chain slightly until it is taut.
2. Use a vernier caliper to measure the distance of the inside (L1) and the outside (L2) of the rollers at both ends of the measured links.
3. The average of (L1) and (L2) gives you the measured length (L).
(L1) + (L2) / 2 = (L).
4. Calculate the standard length as: Chain Pitch x Number of Links.
5. Chain elongation percentage increase in length is calculated as:  Chain Elongation = Measured Length (L) / Standard Length x 100 (%)

Many manufacturers offer a chain wear scale, similar to the example below.

chain wear scale
Chain Wear Scale

Would you like more information about chain selection, maintenance and replacement? Call your OTP Sales Engineer today and speak with an industry expert who can answer all your questions and keep you moving forward.


By Bill Tobias

Many factors go into making the correct decision when selecting a new gear reducer. We must begin with the following basic information to accurately make the correct selection.


  • Speed—how fast does the application require the output shaft to turn?
  • Torque—what is the torque load requirement?
  • Overhung load—how external radial loads are applied to the output shaft may require more gear load capacity, and therefore, larger gears.
  • Duty cycle—how long will the gearbox operate before turning off? Depending on life requirements, intermittent duty applications can utilize smaller gearboxes.


  • Weight, temperature and environment
  • Special coatings or enclosures for harsh or food and beverage applications
  • The correct mounting position so the unit receives proper lubrication
  • Calculations for correct horsepower requirements

A failure we routinely see is the use of a reducer with a c-face direct mounted motor in reversing applications, these failures can usually be solved by simply changing it to a c-face coupled motor instead. Making the correct selections in the beginning will help assure long life and reliable performance.

OTP can assist you through the sizing process to ensure the correct selection of reducer or gear motor for your specific application. Plus, we can advise you on all the latest product advancements and the newer high efficiency product offerings, such as the Sumitomo Hyponic or Grove LeCentric. Contact us to receive the expert Technical Knowledge and Broad Product Support that only comes from OTP Industrial Solutions.

Join Our Motion Control Conversation

As the industry experts in mechanical power transmission, OTP hosts this blog to share our own insights—and to invite our customers and other industry professionals to offer ideas, comments and perspective as well. We’re glad to have you as part of our online motion control community, and we look forward to your contributions.