Are some couplers better than others? Not exactly. If you were to ask whether or not some couplers were better suited for certain tasks, the answer would be yes. No matter the drive application, it's essential to know how couplers differ in order to determine which selection is ideal. Learn about some of the distinguishing differences of these mechanisms so that you can make a more informed choice.
1. Application Style
First, you need to know whether or not the drive application utilizes a belt or conveyor application style. Belt-style systems generally have a prolonged acceleration and deceleration process, while with conveyor applications, the process is typically shorter.
To accommodate the shorter time span, you'll need to choose a coupler with an inertia value that is able to accommodate the shorter process. If the couplers' rating cannot accommodate this speed, you will run into problems with the system's performance. However, if the application is a belt style, any configuration should work just fine, so you don't have to worry about the inertia rating.
Make sure you know what type of output you expect to get from the drive application, as this information will help you determine how much torque you need to generate. How much torque you need will, in turn, help you determine what type of coupler is ideal, in terms of style.
For the most part, if you need a very low level of torque, an elastomeric coupler is the safe option, as these couplers are designed to accommodate a smaller torque capacity. If you need to maximize torque, you want to select a gear coupler; any other option will have a capacity too small to accommodate your needs.
Pay close attention to the size of the coupler and more specifically to its exterior diameter. Friction is the last thing you need to build up around this feature, but if it's too large to fit around the coupling guard, piping, and any other shaft systems that are typically housed near the coupler, there will be friction.
Unfortunately, sizing isn't as simple as measuring, as the smaller the diameter of the coupler, the more torque it has. On the other hand, couplers with a larger torque capacity generally have a smaller diameter.
Ensure you make the right selection, as the wrong choice can lower productivity and efficiency with your drive application, which can hinder your operation. Consider all the above information before you choose couplers.