MRO Magazine

Stainless Steel Reducers Gain in Popularity

In 1997 when Grove Gear introduced its line of stainless steel reducers, it was the first major manufacturer to offer such a product and the market at the time was small and undefined. In addition, the cost of the stainless steel product was many...


September 1, 2004
By MRO Magazine

In 1997 when Grove Gear introduced its line of stainless steel reducers, it was the first major manufacturer to offer such a product and the market at the time was small and undefined. In addition, the cost of the stainless steel product was many times more than the equivalent painted designs already on the market.

Today, sales of stainless steel reducers are growing at an unprecedented rate. Just seven years later, most major domestic worm gear speed reducer manufacturers offer a stainless steel version of their products.

The reason for the acceptance and success of these new designs is a result of the following:

1. The product is better and is promoted as a ‘no hassle’ washdown solution. It has no paint, so there is nothing to peel off the reducer; stainless steel will not rust; and no maintenance is required as the sealed-for-life design uses synthetic lube that never needs changing. As well, the sealing technology reduces leaks significantly; the gear geometry, with ground and polished worms, provides quiet operation; and there are no regulatory concerns, since a stainless steel design meets or exceeds government requirements.

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2. As the installed base of stainless steel reducers grows, maintenance professionals and government inspectors have been quick to recognize the benefits. This has resulted in a growing dissatisfaction with painted units and the maintenance and sanitary issues associated with them.

3. As more speed reducer manufacturers offer stainless steel products, awareness of them has jumped dramatically. They are now available from many sources and at various quality levels.

In August 2004, Grove Gear begain introducing a new Investment Cast Stainless Steel Reducer Line. The line includes two new sizes of reducers in addition to the original four sizes offered.

The investment cast process provides a smoother finish than sand casting. It is better looking and more easily cleanable. Grove Gear does not plan to charge a premium for this next-generation product.

Available in six sizes of single reduction, double reduction, worm worm and helical worm with solid output and hollow output options, the line will include both quill and flexible coupled C-face inputs. Also available for the most extreme applications will be electro-polished and hand-polished versions.

Grove Gear Div., Regal Beloit Corp.