Minimize Production Downtime – Lessons From WWII

by | Nov 19, 2020

Any World War II historian could tell you that in a face to face battle, the German Panzer tank was superior to the American M4 Sherman in almost every respect. Its highly sophisticated engineering meant it could outclass its rival in speed, maneuverability, and firepower, but there was one area where the American machine held a clear advantage: reliability.

The simpler, more robust build of the Sherman made it faster and easier to build and less prone to breakdown. The adaptability of a streamlined design can often offset unforeseen shortcomings.

This is a lesson we have recently been forced to relearn over 75 years later coming out of a global pandemic. With global supply chains disrupted and the state of future working conditions in constant flux, there is no substitute for rugged reliability.

Consumer packaged goods plant operators saw this as much as anyone with plants being forced to add shifts and squeeze out extra capacity as demand shifted from restaurants to grocery stores.

Production downtime is simply not a luxury anyone can afford. So how can we make a system as complex as a packaging line more robust and reliable? One easy place to start is with the machinery driving your conveyors and belts.

A traditional motorized pulley with a planetary gear system is a wonder of modern engineering with dozens of precision-crafted components, but it is designed around an AC motor spinning at 1800 to 3600 RPMs. Is that really necessary to drive a conveyor moving at only 60 RPMs?


Manufacturing Downtime

Conversely, magnetic direct drive powered pulleys by One Motion apply magnetic force directly to the outer shell with no gear ratios to worry about, or even the need for internal lubrication. It’s easy to see how reducing the amount of rotation by an order of 30 can dramatically drive down the risk of failure. In fact, the difference is even starker than that.



One Motion Conveyor

It is understood that both bearings and gears tend to follow a geometric curve when it comes to the relationship between failure and use. For example, your car is far more likely to have an issue at mile 200,000 than it was at mile 100,000.


Failure Rate is 1 in:10,000,000,000

RPMs: 60

HOURS: 2,777,777

DAYS: 115,740

AC Motor

RPMs: 1800

HOURS: 9,259

DAYS: 386

Failure Rate is 1 in:

10,000,000,000 Revolutions







AC Motor




Of all of the things you could do to make your production line more robust, very few can be implemented as quickly and cost-effectively as transitioning to direct drive technology for your powered pulleys. Other equipment upgrades require considerable engineering design time and pose a significant risk on cost and schedule.

One Motion has taken decades-old, proven technology, and applied it in a new, powerful way. Unlike the Sherman, however, One Motion products actually improve performance, efficiency and food safety while being incredibly reliable.

The powered products can be implemented plant-wide, or a few at a time as your schedule permits, allowing you to make incremental improvements in a way you cannot with other process improvement initiatives. The simplicity of the design ensures a product that will keep your process running and comes with a world-class 3-year warranty.

Today’s CPG facilities must be more flexible and innovative than ever before, and nothing can help you rise to the challenge like magnetic direct drive technology by One Motion™.