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Group Drive vs. Individual Drive

Author: E.E. Kimberly

No hard-drawn rules favoring group drive or individual drive for any application can be made. The factors involved in any application are peculiar to that application and are not common to all applications. Each case must be decided after the advantages and disadvantages of both methods have been weighed. In general, a saving will be realized with group drive under the following conditions:

1. Where there are compact groups of constant-speed machines which are to be run continuously or simultaneously.

2. Where there are compact groups of machines which, because of their diversity of load, may be driven by a single motor of much smaller rating than the combined capacities of the motors required for individual drives.

3. Where groups of constant-speed machines with heavy peak-load demands might require individual motors of a size much in excess of the average running load.

4. Where the motors required for individual drive are small.

5. Where, in changing over an existing installation, the old system of line-shafting may be used as already installed.

The initial cost will usually be less with individual drive under the following conditions:

1. Where the machines are isolated and line-shafting is impracticable.

2. Where the roof construction will not safely support line-shafting and the floor structure does not admit of hanging the line-shafting beneath.

3. Where the speed of the machines must be independently variable.

4. Where it is necessary to move the machines from one location to another frequently.

In addition to the foregoing considerations it should be remembered that group drive with open belting presents some personal hazard. Furthermore, where good appearance and working conditions are of great importance, the individual drive is preferable because of the absence of belts and line-shafting.

Last Update: 2010-10-05