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New Testing Facilities Puts John Crane Ahead Of The Pack

27 November 2013

John Crane Coupling Test RigA major research and development project located at the Manchester facility of John Crane UK Ltd has highlighted the company’s position at the forefront of power transmission coupling technology, and greatly expanded the research and dynamic testing facilities which the company has at its disposal. The company has installed a unique new £1 million High Performance Dynamic Coupling Test Rig which is believed to be one of the most advanced of its kind in use today. It is now being used to continue the development of John Crane’s range of couplings, and to help ensure that the company can satisfy customer requirements both now, and well into the future.

This equipment was designed in collaboration with Design Unit – a specialist research and consultancy group based at Newcastle University. It can test a wide range of coupling types, diameters and lengths, at speeds up to 9,000 rpm, power up to 5.4MW, and cyclic torques up to a frequency of 20Hz. Although John Crane’s previous testing capabilities were already among the most advanced in the world, there were some speed and torque requirements which could not be accommodated. This new equipment greatly expands the possibilities and places John Crane well ahead of the field.

John Crane chose to work with Design Unit on the basis of the company’s excellent track record, previous successful collaborations between the two companies, plus Design Unit’s reputation as a leading world authority on gear and power transmission equipment. The 3-year design and development project was driven primarily by the requirements of John Crane customers, and the resulting test rig will now allow the company to take its power transmission couplings into new market areas.

With full computer control, automatic logging and remote monitoring capabilities, the new rig can recreate axial and parallel offset conditions while operating dynamically. It can also simulate a wide range of motions which might typically be experienced in marine or high performance turbomachinery applications.

This latest investment underlines John Crane’s commitment to remain at the leading edge of technological development so that it can provide the highest level of services, equipment and support available.

The test rig has already demonstrated its value, helping John Crane win two new contracts where high speed dynamic testing was required. It has also been used to increase John Crane’s fundamental understanding of the complex assemblies which make up a high performance coupling and so identify further design improvements.