by Rebekah Fuller, IQS editor
Due to the advancements in electronic controls, mechanical engineers may have the tendency to bypass the use of gearing, as the robust gears used in machinery of high speed and high power are quite complex in design. However, electronics has a hard time beating gears for such dedicated, high accuracy requirements as in automobile transmissions. For a variety of internal machinery workings, gears are optimum for changing the rate of rotation, the direction of the axis of rotation, and rotary motion to linear motion. The multitude of gear types can be combined in many ways to create larger gear units, such as gear heads, gear boxes, gear reducers and gearmotors – which all fall under the category speed reducers.
DieQua Corporation Speed Reducers, Gearmotors, Gearheads & Gearboxes.
Speed reducers rely on gear ratios. When interlocking gears differ in size from one another, the smaller gear (called the pinion) will turn faster than the larger gear; this is called “speed ratio”, or “gear ratio”. A gear’s number of teeth can be used to calculate a gear assembly’s ratio; for example, if two interlocking gears have 40 teeth and 20 teeth respectively, the gear ratio is 2:1. Different sized gears are used with one another to increase or reduce a shaft’s rotational speed in speed reducers, motors, transmissions, heavy machinery and clocks.
No matter what kind of gear configuration makes up a speed reducer, they all have input and output shafts. During equipment operation, the motor transmits power to the input shaft of the reducer. The speed reducer then converts this power into lower output speed, which the reducer transmits to the connected load through the output shaft, or multiple output shafts. Gear boxes are referred to as gear heads when they are mounted directly onto a motor instead of just a shaft. Speed reducer manufacturers can build products specifically for each application in such industries as material handling, automotive, aerospace, recreational, construction, food and beverage processing, oil and gas, and textiles, and for such machinery as automation equipment, conveyors, compressors, concrete mixers, printing presses, pumps, generators, and robotics.
With standard design modifications and complete special gearbox designs, manufacturers offer various mountings, environmental protection options, high speed capabilities, and combination drive systems. These manufacturers’ wide range of power transmission solutions include: helical, helical bevel, parallel shaft, and helical worm gearmotors and speed reducers; aluminum and stainless steel gear reducers; right angle and inline gear boxes; servo gearheads; AC or DC, small, medium and large power gearmotors; inverter duty motors; shaft phasing gearboxes (also called speed correction drives) for narrow range speed control; and variable speed gearboxes for wide range speed control. Utilizing the variety of planetary gear, helical gear, bevel gear, and worm gear options, manufacturers satisfy the performance requirements of each general purpose and precision motion control application.