Over the past 2-years we have been working with clients who are constantly faced with the dilemma of spending considerable time and money maintaining and fixing ageing and inefficient Gearboxes and Gearmotors. While there are considerable concerns over financial outlay for new equipment, the costs of continuously fixing existing equipment, including maintenance, downtime and lost production, can be even more taxing.

Old, obsolete and inefficient drives are akin to ticking time bombs. Breakdowns are regular occurrences on many sites, meaning businesses are at risk of losing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Breakdowns mean downtime, downtime means repairs, and repairs means money in parts and maintenance. The cost is lost production and thus, revenue loss. And while good maintenance management can alleviate some of this risk, it isn’t a sustainable long-term solution, as the chance of frequent failure still exists.



To ensure maximum efficiency savings, it is important to look at your overall drive system, as there can be significantly more efficiency gains than just looking at the Electric Motor.

Radicon and similar Worm Gear Units have historically been a cost effective solution; cheap to produce when manufactured in high volumes. The downside to this solution is that the worm gear slides on the worm wheel causing significant efficiency losses and heat due to friction.

Modern replacements to the inefficient worm gear units include highly efficient helical and bevel gear combinations.

SEW-EURODRIVE helical and helical bevel gearboxes are manufactured using the latest gearing technology. Tooth profile, tooth pitch, and pressure angles together with precision fine ground profiles have been optimised to transmit the highest torque possible, while maintaining high efficiency levels.


Cost to repair vs. replace:

The cost of repairing a worm gear usually exceeds the cost of replacing it with a modern helical gearbox.

Not only do you have to consider the downtime associated with the unit being out of service for repair, but, also the cost to remove it, and then replace it when the repaired drive is ready to go back to service.

SEW-EURODRIVE’s drop-in replacement solution greatly reduces downtime, whilst increasing overall system efficiency and reliability. The X Series helical and helical bevel gearboxes are assembled in Australia from locally stocked components, allowing for fast turn-around to meet the requirements of today’s industry.

When an ageing drive is ready to be replaced, a modern drive can be assembled, delivered and installed at the same time the old drive is removed, reducing downtime, labour costs and crane costs.

• SEW’s engineers are able to design and supply a transition base to replace almost any gearbox application

• A SEW design already exists for the majority of existing worm gear units in service

• No site modifications are required as transition bases are designed to match the existing drive’s output shaft location and mounting bolt pattern

• The transition bases are supplied with jacking bolt tabs to aid in the alignment of the output shaft

• A new coupling half can be supplied on the replacement drive output shaft that matches the coupling on the application, so there is no need to remove the coupling from the head shaft

It’s as simple as unbolt the old gearbox, bolt the new SEW drive system in, connect the wires, and press start!


Return on investment (ROI):

Replacing an existing worm gearbox not only offers gains in efficiency, but, reduces downtime and installation costs.

The following example demonstrates how the ROI of the display unit, including the cost of the new drive assembly, removal and installation costs is roughly a year, based on 24/7 operation. This calculation does not take into account the downtime that would have been saved by not having to wait for the old unit to be replaced.

SEW Gearmotor Replacement Example

SEW Replacement Before and After

MGP Tas Pty Ltd provides personal consultations and conceptual and engineering drawings to design a modern drive package solution that will meet customers’ technical requirements. Drop-in packages are engineered and assembled in Australia utilising SEW-EURODRIVE’s vast assortment of stocked parts. Contact us today to learn more.

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