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Whitepaper compares drum motors and gear motors

16 January 2017

The Department of Food Science at the University of Parma in Italy, in collaboration with the Interroll Group, has carried out a comparison between two drive technologies in the food processing industry – traditional gear motors and drum motors. 

The research team conducted a comparison along six evaluation criteria – hygiene, installation and maintenance, energy efficiency, noise, working temperature and space requirements.
"For the study, which included scientific measurements and experimental trials, our aim was to carry out a comparison between state-of-the-art components. We designed three distinct use cases to simulate the different areas of a food processing plant, from a washdown application to a packaging line. A total of 36 different experiments were run over a nine-month period," said Professor Davide Barbanti.
From a food safety point of view, the study found that drum motors offer advantages in terms of hygienic design and cleanability in place, which reduces the risk of soil accumulation and cross-contamination and offers time and cost savings due to shorter cleaning times. The study also identified installation and space advantages for drum motors because all the components are embedded inside the drum motor, so fewer parts are needed for installation.
“Food safety is critical within the food processing industry. However, too often we still find gear motors that do not satisfy the key principles of hygienic design in areas where food is processed. Supposedly such choices are dictated by economic reasons. We hope that the research and the resulting study will be considered by decision-makers in the food industry as practical recommendation for their equipment choices regarding their processing and packaging lines,” concluded Prof Barbanti.
 The results of this study have been published in a white paper, ‘Comparative evaluation between gear motors and drum motors in the food industry,’ which can be downloaded at

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