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Voith launches the FlexPad: Intelligent wear protection for joint shaft couplings helps to increase operational life of the hub body

  • New product solution overcomes the clearance and wear obstacles of a common steel wear plate contact force distribution
  • Easy and quick to replace through scheduled maintenance processes with a significant decrease in downtime
  • Operational cost is reduced by an average of approx. 20 percent
FlexPad helps to increase operational life of hubs through intelligent wear protection. In this case the system uses four FlexPads to decrease wear.
Heidenheim, Germany: Voith introduces the first-to-market intelligent wear protection solution for joint shaft couplings. The Voith FlexPad Roll End Hub (REH) design increases hub body operational life by significantly reducing wear. End-customers benefit from this as they are able to significantly reduce their operational as well as maintenance cost by an average of approx. 20 percent.

Hub wear is a well-known issue for mill operators and it usually leads to an increased clearance between the hub and the roll end which also affects the overall efficiency of the installed system. The vicious cycle of greater clearance turning into additional hub wear results in expensive downtime and re-machining for customers. The Voith FlexPad solution eliminates the metal to metal contact, reduces wear and ensures a longer lifetime of the hub. The principle behind the FlexPad is to decrease wear. It allows an area contact to the roll neck by slight flexibility of the roll neck contact partner. The line contact is transferred into area contact, which decreases stress on local hotspots significantly. The prevention of overload on the hub surface again protects the hub from wear as well as steadily increasing clearance and through that lowers the breakage risk of the hub.

Additionally, since the products are installed as modules the FlexPad within the REH can be replaced as part of the general maintenance schedule, which additionally decreases rework and operational cost. This not only decreases downtime but also ensures a constant improvement in efficiency for overall maintenance processes. A safe and plannable operation between the scheduled maintenance stops is another valuable effect for customers.

The first field tests were conducted in late 2016 and have successfully proven the advantages of the installed system’s benefits. Currently, the system has been in operation and no unexpected problems where encountered, while the roll neck contact partners were replaced on the prospected six-month maintenance basis.

Voith Turbo, a Group Division of Voith, is a specialist for intelligent drive solutions, systems and comprehensive services. Customers from highly diverse industries such as oil and gas, energy, rail and commercial vehicles, ship technology, mining and mechanical engineering rely on the advanced technologies and solutions-driven expertise of Voith Turbo.

Voith is a global technology group. With its broad portfolio of systems, products, services and digital applications, Voith sets standards in the markets of energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transport & automotive. Founded in 1867, Voith today has more than 19,000 employees, sales of € 4.2 billion and locations in over 60 countries worldwide and is thus one of the largest family-owned companies in Europe.


Robin Wankerl

Global Market Communication Manager


t +49 7321 37-8303