I admit, I have used both methods in the past. While the dartboard method can be fun, it relies more on luck and less on precision. The graphical method is a headache-inducing eye sore but has brought me closer to a technically sound solution. With both methods, I never really know if my selections are optimized for my applications.
Have you inherited a facilities’ worth of belt setups that may or may not be sized properly? How do you know what kind of service factor the current setups were designed with? Do you have a 4 V-belt setup that should have been 7? Or maybe an XXL-sized timing belt setup that could have been H-sized?
The Gates Design Flex Pro software takes the guess-work out of optimized sprocket and belt selection. In the past, I always had confidence that my selections were going to handle the horsepower for the applications I was working on, but I didn’t know how oversized my selections were. For the sake of economy and efficiency, you want to ensure that your selections have the appropriate service factors and are not significantly oversized.
Entering the parameters of the application’s drive setup takes just a few minutes and pressing the design button provides you with multiple options for your desired belt style.
The software produces a report that gives you the exact horsepower rating of your selected system and the service factor it provides for your application. Do you need documentation that shows why your design and selections make sense? Print the report to a pdf file, save it to your project folder, and you quickly have a permanent record for the system.
One of my favorite features available in the software is how quickly you can go from entering your application information to having pricing in your hands. In a short period of time you can go from not having any idea what sizing would be appropriate for your application to having part numbers with which you can request pricing. If you know your shaft sizes the software will provide part numbers not only for the belt and sprockets, but the taper-lock or QD bushings as well.
Gates provides this selection tool as a value-addition to their customers to save time during their design process and optimize their application selections. As a mechanical design engineer I have found it to be a valuable addition to my toolbox and a great addition to the excellent selection of Gates products.