A belt drive is a type of power transmission device which is a looped belt wound around a pair of pulley so as to transmit power between two or more rotating shafts. Compared to other power transmitting devices, belt drives are more preferred in mechanical industry due to easy installation, numerous speed ratio selections, less power loss and comparative low price. Belt drive protects the rotating machinery from overload fluctuations by absorbing all shocks and vibration. Belt drive does not need lubrication and thus requires less maintenance. There has been a lot of improvement in the design of belt drives depending upon their use in industry. Belt drive can be classified as flat belt, V-belt and timing belt depending upon its application. Flat belt is preferred for low power high speed applications. Flat belts have better power transfer efficiency compared to V-belts because of little bending loss. They are widely used in textile, flour mill, conveyors, compressors, machine tools, and other heavy industrial equipment. V-belt is a belt having cross-section shape on its surface which provides a better grip on the pulley. Hence, V belt are used in high speed high power transmitting applications. V-belt provides large speed ratios and has long life compared to flat belt. Timing belt have tooth shaped surface which track relative speed movement. Thus, timing belt finds its application in camshaft of automobiles, photocopier, sewing machine where transfer of power should be maximum. The design of the pulley is based on the design of belt being used in belt drive system.
Replacement of belt drive is acting as a growth driver for belt drive market. The improper use of belt drives in an industrial application results in more wear and tear of the belt. Due to this, the replacement of belt drives installed in industrial equipment becomes necessary. The major challenge for belt drive market is coming from adoption of electrical motors and drives in industrial application. Industrial consumers are finding new ways to reduce power consumption in their daily processes. They are switching to advanced power transmission systems such as electrical motors and drives which provide energy efficiency than belt drive systems. However, the low cost and easy availability of belt drive systems is proving a competitive edge over electrical motors and drives. Belt drive manufacturers need to invest in improving belt drive design to withstand in the market. Belt drive mainly finds its application in industrial machinery, automobiles, agriculture, oil refineries and mining industry.
The demand for belt drives is increasing in North America and Germany which are considered as hub for manufacturing companies. The adoption of timing belt drive system is increasing by phasing out existing flat and V-belt drive system. The decline of European economy in the outcome of global recession and European debt crisis have resulted in shifting manufacturing facilities of most European companies to developing economies. Thus, during the coming years developing countries such as India, South Africa and China will see more demand for belt drives market due to this reason. The demand for belt drive will increase in East Asian and African countries due to growth in oil refineries and mining sector.
Some of the key belt drive manufacturers are Arntz Optibelt Gmbh, Belt Corporation of America, Dayco Products LLC, , Hutchinson Belt Drive Systems, Desch Antriebstechnik Gmbh, Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG, Federal Mogul Co., Belt Technologies Inc, Gates Corporation, Reynold Plc, Ino Industrial Belting Co. Ltd and Beeline Engineering Products.