A drum motor works as a motorised pulley, eliminating the need for items such as drive chains, sprockets and guards that an external gearbox motor requires, says Interroll md, Chris Middleton.
These items can be difficult to access and clean, allowing residue to accumulate and posing a food safety risk. However, drum motors are crevice-free and capable of withstanding full washdowns, which makes them more hygienic.
Because they are also part of the conveyor system, they do not occupy extra floor space saving room and eliminating hard-to-clean gaps that can occur between external gearbox motors and conveyor systems, he adds.
Drum motors are also at least 30% more energy efficient than traditional external gearbox motors, Middleton says. The installation of drum motors at a Danish Crown meat processing facility in Denmark helped the firm save over 280,000 worth of energy compared to what was used by the previous external motors. This is due to the drum motor being fully sealed in an oil-filled container that continually lubricates the motor. The lubrication reduces friction while the circulating oil acts as a coolant.