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Detailed Introduction on Drum Motor

By Emma | Published on Dec 11,2015


A drum motor is a kind of geared motor drive enclosed within a steel shell providing a single component driving pulley for conveyor belts.

The drum motor concept was first recorded in 1928 but was not realised until the early 1950s when it was first produced specifically for conveyor belt applications. The idea was to produce a compact, totally enclosed single component drive unit with high efficiency and lower frictional losses than a conventional geared motor. The drum motor was quick and easy to install, required no maintenance and because of its totally enclosed IP66 sealed design would be unaffected by dust, dirt grease or water. Today you can find many examples of drum motor applications in airport check-in conveyors and security machines, supermarket check stands, food processing conveyors and weighing equipment. Reversible drum motors are also used for roller shutter doors.


The drum motor comprises an asynchronous or synchronous electric motor, or hydraulic motor fixed to a stationary shaft at one end of the drum and directly coupled through the motor’s rotor pinion to an in-line helical or planetary gearbox which is fixed to the other stationary shaft. The torque is transferred from the motor via the gearbox to the drum shell through a coupling or geared rim attached to the shell or end housing.


In the United States Patent Office can be found an early description of a drum motor from 1932. The application for this "conveyor roller" is from November 1928 and it was applied by the Pittsburgh subsidiary of the German engineering company Schloemann.

20 years later this very early concept was finally conveyed into an industrial drive. In the early 1950s the Danish inventor and entrepreneur John Kirkegaard designed the first industrial-type drum motor.


1. Reduced energy consumption

2. Increased efficiency

3. Ease of installation

4. Space-saving design

5. Designed for the toughest conditions

6. Guaranteed for food

7. Safety

8. Maintenance-free


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