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How To Choose The Right Gearbox System

Waunakee, WI , 2018-11-05

How To Choose The Right Gearbox

You need an actuator for moderating torque levels in a conveyor system or other applications. There are a number of steps to consider, both in terms of the performance of the motor as well as the environment where it will be installed. Also important are the maintenance requirements, if any, as well as the lifetime of the component. From start to finish, here are the critical factors to consider when choosing the right gearbox motor that will survive the environment and provide adequate amounts of torque during duty cycles.

Application Specifications for Gearboxes

It’s rare for the envelope of a gearbox to have much leeway, so it’s not just a matter of the dimensions of the available space, but how it can be mounted and how frequently lubrication needs to be refreshed. Environmental factors such as temperature, dust or liquid contamination and airflow all factor in choosing the right motor for your application.

Working with an experienced manufacturer can sort out one key issue: seamless integration of the gearbox itself and the motor. Then it falls to the necessary RPM and torque numbers to adequately address the application, you can work with a manufacturer’s specialist to make sure the product used matches the torque curve and other requirements.

Types of Gearboxes

All gearboxes do the same thing: reduce speed and increase torque between two shafts. However, how they do so differs and that’s what makes different designs better for different applications. Some common ones include:

1) Parallel shaft gearboxes – Parallel shaft gearboxes have the motor shaft and the reducer shaft next to each other. The design is a great fit for applications where the design envelope requires a compact gearbox.

2) Inline gearboxes – Inline gearboxes are common along straight paths for torque conversion and are useful in areas where there are not space constraints. In some cases, they can be combined with a chain and sprockets to work under the conveyor system.

3) Worm gear – Worm gearing is very versatile. It is a compact system that is mounted directly to the shaft and can handle large amounts of torque. In addition, the design itself offers an emergency brake as the gear cannot turn the worm.

4) Helical bevel gearboxes – Bevel geared motors also provide substantial torque benefits, especially with new two-stage helical designs on the market. Unlike worm gears, they allow for reversing and therefore can be used in conveyor systems like airport baggage systems.

Gearbox Performance Requirements

Numbers can sometimes obscure what’s actually necessary when it comes to a gearbox motor. For example, horsepower, starting and running torque and others can vary dramatically and may also require considerations for jolts and overloads in systems where bouncing or heavy materials are moved on conveyors, for example. Other factors include the input power source, controls necessary for integration into the overall system among many others. Considering each of the types of gearbox

motors above, efficiency is a factor that can yield small power improvements that scale over the size of the project.

A major issue with gearbox motor selection is life and duty cycle . The torque generation is substantial, but a major factor is whether the motor is a marathon runner or sprinter. More plainly, the duty cycle will be a deciding factor as to which motors will provide the right amount of torque and for how long. Correspondingly, the lifetime of the gearbox motor covers the number of cycles over the lifetime of the system. Mapping the cost over the lifetime can help in scenarios where one element of the system is vastly older or newer than another.

Testing and Recalibration

While much testing and forecasting can be done prior to installation, using a small-scale environment to test loads and identify sticking points in a conveyor system is critical. Combining computer modeling and live performance reviews can help identify future problems like envelope restrictions and potential component failure.

It can be hard within a sterile environment to attempt to figure out how much heat will be generated during operations, especially in non-standard environments where dust and water can play a role in wearing down the motor or heat can limit functionality. If those issues do occur, you’re likely to need to consult with a manufacturer or industrial engineer to find a new solution that will provide similar benefits.

Learn More About NORD Gearboxes To learn more about integrating our drive units and controls for your needs, contact us today . Our team of consultants will review your project specifications and work with you to devise the right strategy for long-lasting system success with low maintenance and maximum efficiency. With a variety of gearboxes and industry-leading protection for our motors, we stand behind our solutions for your conveyor and other needs.