Drives, motors, couplings and geared units for industry

Siemens Mechanical Drives manufacturing and assembly facility in Isando, Gauteng, is the heart of the Drive Technologies Division.

Siemens Drive Technologies Division is one of the world’s leading suppliers of products, systems, applications, solutions and services for the entire drive train with electrical and mechanical components and motion control systems for production machinery as well as machine tools. The Drive Technologies Division products are used in the manufacturing industry, process industry and energy/infrastructure.

Within this Division is Mechanical Drives, whose solutions range from an extensive line of gear reducers and couplings to gear motors and open gearing for many industrial applications. They are known for their quality and reliable service in a wide range of industries including mining, cement, metals, paper and petrochemical.


The Simogear family includes geared motors in various designs such as helical, parallel shaft, bevel helical and worm gear units with outputs ranging from 0.09 kW to 200 kW and with output torques up to 50,000 Nm

With the acquisition of Flender AG in 2008, Siemens strengthened and grew its position as a leading provider. Before the acquisition, Flender had built up a legacy as a successful supplier of mechanical and electrical drive equipment for mechanical engineering, basic materials processing, transport and conveying systems and power generation.

The Mechanical Drives manufacturing and assembly facility is situated in Isando, Gauteng. These operations have recently been upgraded and expanded to now stand at about 9 400m².

The company has made numerous upgrades to its facility over the last three years. In 2010, a 32 ton crane was installed in the new heavy-duty hall to increase service capability for the entire range of Flender gear units in Southern Africa. A 12.5 ton crane was installed in 2011 to help manipulate complete drivetrains, also called power packs, during its final assembly.

To meet increased environmental requirements, Siemens installed two new spray booths in its assembly and service repair workshops for geared motors in 2012.


An example of a gear unit in the Isando facility

Additional upgrades included the installation of a new manipulation table with a jib crane and the completion of a new wash bay in the services workshop dedicated to the repair of gear units.

Now the company has just completed a facility renovation and administrative office upgrade, which has facilitated increased capacity and the productivity required to support the growth of the company’s OEM manufacturing, refurbishment and after-sales services.


Mechanical Drives concentrates on three main areas of manufacturing, namely gear motors, gear units and couplings. The South African facility is regarded as an assembly and service operation with most of the components sourced from Siemens manufacturing facilities in Germany, although it does partner with local machine shops for its base plates, guards and shafts requirements.

Geared motors

The extensive range of geared motors is grouped in three areas – Simogear geared motors, Motox geared motors and servo geared motors – with many different variations.

The Simogear family includes geared motors in various designs such as helical, parallel shaft, bevel helical and worm gear units with outputs ranging from 0.09 kW to 200 kW and with output torques up to 50,000 Nm. By offering additional frame sizes, Siemens can now supply a complete portfolio of geared motor designs. With their high gear ratios in the two- and three-stage ranges, finer torque grading, high power density and outstanding efficiency, the new models are especially well-equipped to meet the requirements of modern conveyor systems. By virtue of its connection dimensions in conformity with market standards, the new motor range is completely compatible with existing installations.

The Motox portfolio comprises all commonly used types of gear units and are suitable for many drive applications. With the added benefits of a higher gear unit torque than normally found on the market, Siemens’ Motox geared motors deliver performance ranges up to 200 kW. They can achieve a gear unit torque up to 20,000 Nm with helical, parallel shaft and helical bevel gear units and they also comply with all relevant international regulations.


A gear in the workshop

The extensive range of servo geared motors includes a series designed especially for motion control applications. Among their distinguishing features are their excellent balance quality and compact design. Siemens proven 1FK7 and 1FT7 synchronous servomotors are also available as factory fitted motors with planetary gear units. The 1FK7 motors are additionally available with offset shaft and angle geared units in various specifications. For main motors they optionally offer switchgear units.

Gear units

Gear units are offered in standard, application specific and custom made configurations. The standard gear unit range was developed for use in nearly every field of mechanical power transmission technology. This range comprises helical and bevel-helical gear units as well as single-stage and multi-stage planetary gear units. Thanks to the different gear unit types and designs the series offer an almost unlimited variety of designs in a torque range from approximately 2,000 to 2,600,000 Nm.

The modular system enables extremely short delivery times. The main add-on parts are already included in the standard range, which means that adapting a gear unit to the customer’s requirements does not affect the delivery time.


The geared motors assembly section in Isando

Application specific gear units are what they are and can include applications for aerators, agitators, air cooled condensers, belt conveyors, bucket elevators, bucket wheel excavators, cranes, crushers, extruders, jack-up rigs, paper and pulp preparation sections, railway vehicles, reactors, roller presses, ropeways, rotary kilns, ships, sugar mills, tube mills, vertical mills, water screw pumps, water turbines and wet cooling towers.


Like the gear units the range keeps the Flender name. Couplings are manufactured for almost all branches of industry that includes a wide range of flexible, highly flexible, torsionally rigid and hydrodynamic couplings and rail couplings in numerous sizes and versions. Some series are maintenance-free while others have long maintenance intervals. Wearing parts can be easily replaced and are available worldwide. Thus, standstill periods are reduced to the minimum.

New products

At the world’s biggest industrial fair, Hannover Messe, in Germany, in April, Siemens presented its integrated drive system (IDS), which is based on the concept of a totally integrated automation (TIA) portfolio that covers most tasks relating to electrical drives.

The IDS will enable a greater configuration of the drivetrain for each specific task and will cover all processes and production related elements.  IDS will be launched in South Africa later this year.

IDS will pursue a three-fold integration. Firstly there is the horizontal integration of the drivetrain, which will ensure a smooth interaction and improved dimensioning of all subcomponents from the converter, motor and gear units to the couplings.


Geared motors being assembled

Secondly, based on the vertical integration to automation, the drive systems will be enhanced and engineered, configured and networked, using TIA through to control level.

Thirdly, the drive system will comprise suitable industry software solutions for integration throughout the life cycle of an application, which will provide increased interaction and long-term compatibility of elements.

This will entail the initial planning steps of the drive system to engineering, operating, maintaining and modernising the drive system, offering maximum investment protection and improved performance.

Siemens also introduced a new line of Flender standard industrial gear (Sig) units and Flender standard industrial planetary (Sip) gear units onto the African market in 2012.


Siemens Mechanical Drives’ Business Unit Director Michael Cardoso

The Siemens Sig unit, which was launched mid last year in South Africa, is a new generation of the current standard series of Flender FZG gear units. It has two basic types of design arrangements. They are the bevel- helical and the helical gear units. The bevel-helical gear units are available in the horizontal mounting position in 11 sizes, from 504 to 514, with three to four gear stages and a power rating of up to 1 350 kW. Nominal torques reach up to 125 000 Nm.

The helical gear units are also available in the horizontal mounting position in 11 sizes, from 504 to 514, but with two to four gear stages and power ratings of up to 2 900 kW, and nominal torques of up to 125 000 Nm.

The Sig unit is for use in several industries, such as the oil and gas, chemicals, pulp and paper, water and wastewater, mining, energy, materials handling and crane installation.

The Flender Sip unit, which was launched in South Africa last year, is Siemens’ new range of small and medium-size planetary gear units, which has been specifically designed to close Siemens’ portfolio in these types and sizes of mechanical drives. Applications include apron feeders, shredders, mixers, filtration technology, conveyor drives, travel drives and water treatment facilities.

The new planetary gear unit series offers a product range of between 10 000 Nm and 80 000 Nm, and six transmission stages in eight gear unit sizes. The variants include the output hollow shaft equipped with shrink disk or hollow shaft equipped with a spline profile. Taconite seals for the unit are available as an optional extra.


The South African facility is regarded as an assembly and service operation with most of the components sourced from Siemens manufacturing facilities in Germany, although it does partner with local machine shops for its base plates, guards and shafts requirements

Another example of the Division providing customers with a high level of productivity, efficiency, and reliability was when it announced an industry first in the launch of its online Energy Savings Estimator, a user-friendly tool that allows customers using drives, motors, couplings and gearboxes the ability to estimate potential energy savings across their entire drive train.

Siemens Mechanical Drives in South Africa has many examples of where it has supplied its units and couplings. On the geared motors side it can easily supply up to 1 000 units and more a month. This does not include the comprehensive service department that refurbishes both the motors and geared units. The Division employs 108 staff and 95 of these are located in the assembly, manufacturing and services departments.

For further details contact Siemens Mechanical Drives on TEL: +27 (11) 571 2074 or visit