4 Benefits of Industrial Falk Clutches for the Marine Industry

For almost one-hundred years, Falk has been the leading marine clutch manufacturer and supplier, delivering superior parts for marine propulsion. In 1939 Falk introduced reversing reduction gears and air clutches, and drums that greatly revolutionized workboat maneuverability.

Equipment durability is essential for any company operating on the ocean, or in freshwater. Falk Marine Gear Drives are built for reliability and longevity, providing the exact solution the marine industry needs.

Heavy-duty gear sets, industrial marine clutches, and extended life bearings all serve an important role in keeping the marine industry moving. This is why owners, operators, and manufacturers of workboats depend on Falk marine drives and clutches. 

1. Reliable Engine-to-Gear Clutching

A quality clutch is necessary to ensure that a workboat can maneuver safely in the water. This is doubly important when needing to reduce speed. Docking is one instance when a workboat operator will shift between idle and ahead, or between Ahead and Astern in order to achieve the correct speed. This method is inefficient when using standard industrial marine clutches.  

Falk marine clutches are able to control the hydraulic pressure on both the Ahead and the Astern clutch, allowing the industrial marine clutch what is called “closed-loop speed control” and increasing the range of the engine in between idle and zero.

What is unique to Falk marine clutches is their ability to keep the engine idling while the oil-shear clutch is “slipped,” delivering reduced speed. Then, when more speed is needed, the operator engages the speed control, which allows the slip control system to engage the clutch and accelerate the engine. 

This innovative Falk marine clutch design allows you to operate the system without damaging the clutch for a long as the application calls for it. Torque is transmitted by “shearing the oil film between clutch plates”. The oil takes the heat with it and dissipates it through the heat exchanger.

2. Superior Clutch Control

Falk diagram of integral hydraulic clutch

The closed-loop slip control is made possible by a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller. This allows the operator to maintain the correct speed despite conditions in wave, wake, or current. The PID controller compares the error between the selected speed and the actual speed at which the propeller is moving. Then, it adjusts the hydraulic pressure of the clutch with a proportional slip-control valve.

This design allows for more precise control over propeller speed, as the system can be adjusted for each application regardless of the size of the workboat or system. 

3. Falk Marine Clutches are Tested for Accuracy

The PID controller undergoes extensive sea trials to ensure proper function. It is programmed with the speed of both the propulsion system and of the vessel. These values are entered via a keypad plugged into the controller program port. Once adjusted, the keypad can be removed.

During the test, the controller is further then refined by adjusting three different gains: proportional, integral, and derivative. This is the essential data that allows the system to accurately create stable changes in propeller speed.

Let’s take a look at these three types of gains:

  • Proportional gain determines how large a signal to send to the valve. This type of gain generates an output signal which is “proportional to the error between the selected and true propeller speeds”.
  • Integral gain adjusts the amount of drift allowed in speed due to changes in the environment or due to operation. This type of gain “multiplies the error between selected and true propeller speeds over an interval and sums this factor into the output signal to the slip-control valve”. 
  • Derivative gain controls the change in speed the propeller will need to make as it approaches the new speed selected. The unique Falk design allows for smooth changes in speed by using the derivative gain.

4. Greater Control and Maneuverability At Your Fingertips


The “Engine Torque-Up System” allows for greater maneuverability when reversing and greatly reduces the strain of reversing on the propulsion system. This is a unique feature found in few marine industry clutches. 

When in reverse, the system continues to apply the shaft break during the initial engagement of the Astern clutch. This gives greater control and reduces clutch heat build-up. 

The Power of NW Industrial Sales, LLC and Rexnord

NW Industrial Sales, LLC is a certified agent for Rexnord’s Industrial Services division. This means we have access to thousands of parts and a combined 75 years experience servicing many industries. Our signature expertise and custom solutions allow us to be a leader among marine clutch manufacturers and suppliers.

We are here available 24/7 to help you with a repair or a replacement. We want to make sure your industrial marine clutch is back in service as soon as possible. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

Falk image provided by Rexnord.

2020-05-28T23:19:51+00:00May 28th, 2020|
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