New drive package cuts energy costs for steel company

SEW Eurodrive has supplied and commissioned a new drive package for Sheffield-based Bedford Steels, supplier of hollow bar to the mining and construction industry. It replaces one originally installed in 1951 and will significantly reduce the company's energy consumption, increase production and simplify the maintenance regime.

Designed by SEW Eurodrive, the new system provides the drive for a set of four rolling stands each containing a set of four rolls. It consists of a high-efficiency X-series, shaft-mounted bevel-helical gear unit driven by a 450kW ABB energy efficient motor and an ABB panel-mounted Low Harmonic Inverter drive, supplied and installed by Halcyon Drives. The new inverter drive features fully regenerative supply that will make a significant contribution to energy savings and provide much better control than was possible with the old system.

The heavy-duty X-series range of helical and bevel-helical industrial gear units offers a choice of 23 finely graduated sizes, with torques ranging from 6.8 to 475kNm, and high power densities. The finely graduated size options enable optimal selection for every task; this avoids the need to specify an oversized gearbox and can often reduce costs and weight. Designed around a modular concept, with the availability of predefined accessories, the units are infinitely adaptable to suit a wide range of different applications.

An off-line oil filtration system was fitted on the new gearbox that will remove water and solid particulates, down to 0.5 microns, and keep it in good condition. Full condition monitoring was also installed that features four vibration monitors and one oil monitor. Any alarm conditions are signalled on the PLC's panel as well as alerts being sent to SEW Eurodrive and selected mobile devices.

SEW Eurodrive carried out all the mechanical installation and commissioning as well as overseeing the whole project, while Halcyon Drives supplied and installed the electrical side of the system. Bedford Steels now has a state-of-the-art electromechanical drive system with superior speed control that will deliver significant energy savings over the old system.

For more information about drive packages from SEW Eurodrive, please visit the website at

SEW-Eurodrive Ltd

DeVilliers Way

+44 (0)1924 893855

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