Posted at 11-Jul-2019

How to Lower Your Total Cost of Couplings (TCC)

Paul Skade
By Gareth Lenton
General Manager, Power Transmission

I joined WYKO in January of 2000, the dawn of a new millennium and a completely new start for me after spending 2 years backpacking through South East Asia and Au...

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The most important factor in determining the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of couplings is often the amount of downtime experienced. In demanding applications couplings face numerous challenges, from impact loading to dust and temperature extremes. Maintaining uptime against the odds can be the difference between a cost-effective coupling and a costly one. 

aggressive environment


The uptime performance of Falk Steelflex® Grid Couplings from Rexnord has made them the industry standard for demanding applications, specified in operating environments such as cement and coal handling facilities, and mines from the desert to the Arctic. 

With misalignment and high-impact and vibratory loads being the two leading causes of coupling failure, independent tests on Falk Steelflex Couplings have shown they outperform the competition against both these threats. 


Common risks, uncommon performance 

Misalignment combined with high-impact loads on conveyors, shredders and mixers – and vibratory loads on high-speed applications such as pumps or compressors – will all test a coupling’s durability.

Unfortunately, since equipment is often pushed to design limits, and misalignment is almost always present due to human error or natural settling, these risks are typical in most of the operating environments where couplings are found.  

However, third-party tested under extreme conditions, Falk Steelflex Couplings proved to be up to 16 times more durable than the competition in impact-loading applications, and capable of surviving up to twice the stated misalignment limits. 

They can also reduce the impact of loads on equipment by up to 30%.


Fitted more, replaced less

With performance like that, it’s not surprising that Falk Steelflex has the largest installed base of any grid coupling in the world. And once installed, a Falk Steelflex Coupling has proven to last longer than competitive makes. 

The longer-lasting grid elements mean fewer replacements, and less engineers’ time spent on inspections. Fewer grid failures also mean less wear on hub teeth, which means far fewer hub replacements and all the time and cost they entail: heating components, moving equipment, realigning shafts. 

There’s also a specially engineered Long-Term Grease (LTG) from Rexnord, recommended for extending the life of the coupling. Installed with LTG, your Falk Steelflex coupling won’t need a lubricant replacement for the next five years. 


Going beyond a brand

Some competitive couplings are manufactured using bought-in and re-branded components. For Rexnord, building a brand you can rely on is about more than just the name. It means designing, engineering and building all the components too. 

Rexnord has specialised manufacturing equipment for machining and treating all the components which make up every Falk Steelflex Coupling. Strict in-house quality controls ensure all products live up not just to the name, but also to customers’ expectations – offering consistency in materials used, reliability and performance. 

And cycle tests prove that it’s an approach that pays off. 

Many competitors have copied the Falk Steelflex design, and claim their components are “fit for fit”. However, although the dimensions are the same, the quality of engineering and components are not. Which is why replacing a Falk Steelflex grid element with one of the leading competitive grid elements has been shown to reduce durability by 87.5%.


More than a couple

With so many demanding applications which can benefit from fitting Falk Steelflex, a comprehensive range is essential. So Rexnord offers a wide choice of bores, speeds and torque capacities. 

Available in 25 sizes, there are 11 Falk Steelflex models, including high-speed, spacer, flywheel, brake and controlled torque. Bore capacity goes up to 20” (508mm), torque capacity up to 8,250,000 inch-pounds (932,126Nm), and speed up to 10,000rpm.

For your peace of mind, whichever size and model you choose, if it’s lubricated from the start with Rexnord LTG, it will be covered by a five-year heavy-duty warranty. 


Total care

Reducing your total cost of ownership of the coupling starts at the very beginning, with careful product selection.

Rexnord’s Customer Care Team has over 80 years of product design expertise and experience behind it, to help you choose the right coupling for your application from the extensive Falk Steelflex range. 

Make the right choice with their help, and you can expect outstanding value for money, dependable performance, and the lowest total cost of ownership for your couplings, however tough your application. 

Liked this article? You might want to read Know+How Magazine Issue 37, packed with related articles and more!

It's not just external surroundings that contribute to an aggressive environment, materials that are being processed and what goes through your equipment can also put assets under strain. 

We take a look at some of the issues you face on a daily basis and how to mitigate some of the risks. 

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