Archive: Aug 2015

We Disagree with Kermit-the-Frog: It IS Easy Being Green with Centrifugal Clutches

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When the popular American television series Sesame Street first aired almost 46 years ago, the manufacturing industries weren’t concerned, or weren’t as concerned, with “sustainability” and with “being green,” as everyone is today. Those of us who grew up with Kermit-the-Frog singing and complaining about “being green” know he wasn’t referring to sustainability when he was singing. But now, in 2015, you hear manufacturers and companies in all industries talking about sustainability and reporting about how they’re “being green.” Some manufacturers are repeating Kermit-the-Frog’s words, and saying, “It’s not easy being green…” They’re pointing out challenges they’re facing, or mentioning some complaints about the costs and reporting requirements associated with sustainability efforts. Companies and manufacturers are looking for ways to be more sustainable and more green.

Organized efforts, initiatives, and media, regularly offer ideas and information to help companies from all industries “be green.” is one example of an information source dedicated to sustainability in business. The website says it “advances the opportunities at the intersection of business, technology and sustainability…” A recent article on the site, 10 Lessons for Future Sustainability Leaders, asks, “Is sustainability part or your core strategy?” The article continues by answering the question and saying, “To create a high-quality integrated [sustainability] report, you must answer this question affirmatively.”

custom centrifugal solutionsIf sustainability and “being green” is important to your company, and if you’re a manufacturer using centrifugal clutches, you know that centrifugal clutches make it easier to be green. As we originally reported in an industry news release six years ago, “BLM’s distinctive blue clutches have always been a green solution, long before it was politically correct. BLM has always produced an energy efficient clutch.”

Here’s an overview of how our centrifugal clutches save energy and help manufacturers “be green”: An electric motor with a centrifugal clutch starts under no load and does not engage and drive the load until it reaches near rated speed. Once up to speed, a motor has more torque to start and accelerate the load and it consumes much less current than a motor that must struggle to start under full load.

In addition to reduced electrical power consumption costs, there are other “green” benefits offered by our blue clutches:

-They’re more economical because the motor is “right-sized” and not over-sized. (See our previous blog post for more information about proper clutch size.)

-A standard motor with a clutch runs more efficiently than an oversized motor running below its full-rated load.

-Clutches can promote and increase motor life by as much as 5x due to the shortened high-current draw saving motor insulation and windings.

Take a look at our website to learn more about how centrifugal clutches are a green and clean alternative, and see how it IS easy to be green with centrifugal clutches.

Why For Centrifugal Clutches, Size Matters

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Size matters when you’re designing and manufacturing centrifugal clutches! We know this from our experience working with our customers who have come to use from many different industries throughout the years. If you’re not already familiar with BLM Automatic Clutch, we’re a family owned company, which designs and manufactures centrifugal clutches.

custom centrifugal clutch sizesWhenever we’re designing and manufacturing centrifugal clutches for our customers, we rely on our customers to provide us with accurate information and specifications. We work closely with each customer to learn about any special or unique requirements for the clutches. Fully understanding their operations is critical in determining the right size centrifugal clutch within each specific application.

When it comes to the speed and the horsepower RPM, this information also must be accurate. If the information about the speed and horsepower is incorrect, the clutch may only partially engage but will still try to drive a full load on partial engagement resulting in clutch failure. Another possible scenario is that the running speeds are inaccurate and the clutch blows up.

Determining how many belts on a pulley application and the number of horsepower transmitted by each belt is necessary. Sometimes horsepower transmitted by manufacturer supplied equipment is insufficient to maximize the engine capacity, this results in an oversell of the size of the engine. The solution is to have more belts or a smaller engine.

Ultimately, the correct clutch size is critical for the overall performance and the longevity of a centrifugal clutch. Also having the correct clutch size can prevent damage or malfunction and costly downtime. To prevent any of these scenarios from happening we encourage our customers to share with us all accurate information and run each clutch within its intended application parameters.

We’d be happy to tell you more about why it’s so critical for manufacturers of centrifugal clutched to get accurate specifications and information from the end users of the centrifugal clutches. Reach out to us at any time with any questions you may have.