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Power Transmission for Robotic Parking Systems

Twenty-year relationship punctuated by two Guinness World Records for Robotic Parking’s next-generation parking facilities

Inside an automated parking structure

Inside an automated parking structure

Waunakee, WI , 2020-01-22

NORD Gear Corporation, a world leader in industrial gear reducers, motors, and variable frequency drives, and Robotic Parking Systems, Inc., a manufacturer of high-speed automated parking structures, continue to take parking garages to the next level. Robotic Parking Systems has relied on NORD as its exclusive power transmission provider since 1999.

Traditional parking garages are not only an inefficient use of space and construction materials, but they also contribute to pollution, waste drivers’ time, and put them in potentially unsafe situations. Automated parking structures solve all those issues and more. Drivers simply leave their vehicle in an entrance stall and take a ticket from the nearby kiosk. As they do, the front of the garage stall opens and the floor slides forward, carrying the vehicle into the futuristic, human-free structure within. There it is transported through a series of shuttles, elevators, and turntables until it reaches its assigned parking spot, all automatically. When the driver returns, they slide the card into another kiosk and the process is reversed, delivering their car within three minutes or less to a secure stall, facing forward, ready to go.

Based in Clearwater, Fla., Robotic Parking Systems uses NORD’s helical bevel gear units to move vehicles into position. For large parking structures, where upwards of 100 vehicles might be motion at once, that could mean hundreds of such NORD systems are employed to ensure the vehicles are parked and returned quickly and efficiently. The companies teamed up nearly 20 years ago on a seven-level, 314-space garage in Hoboken, New Jersey—it was the first of its kind in the United States.

NORD Delivers Dependability

Automated parking structures have become particularly attractive in densely populated areas because without the need for driving ramps, they are able to fit more vehicles in a much smaller garage. Since completing the first structure in New Jersey, Robotic Parking Systems has led numerous similar installations throughout the world, including two in the Middle East that achieved Guinness World Record status. In 2013, a parking garage in Dubai was recognized as the Largest Automated Parking Facility with a capacity of 1,191 vehicles. Five years later, the company broke its own record with a 2,314-space garage in Kuwait, which has a throughput of 425 vehicles per hour.

Operating in such a high-volume environment where dependability and efficiency are paramount requires that every component of the intricate system works perfectly every time. The hot desert climate and a largely unmanned facility push the stakes all that much higher.

“Our operating environments are often extreme, and that’s why we have equally extreme and stringent selection criteria for our mechanical and electrical components,” said Royce Monteverdi, president and CEO at Robotic Parking Systems. "For example, we expect a gearbox to provide at least 40,000 hours of continuous operation. NORD has never failed us in that requirement, which is one reason we've been using their products since the company began. As a matter of fact, their helical gear drives are perhaps the champion among all our mechanical components in terms of longevity and reliability. We are quite happy with the NORD products we’ve implemented into our robotic parking facilities, and with the relationship overall. They’re just a great company to work with.”

NORD’s 2 stage helical bevel gear units provide superior performance in a compact, modular design while delivering up to 97 percent efficiency. Featuring oversized output bearings and strong UNICASE™ housing for extended service life even under high radial loads, the gear units are available in two housing options and provide a robust, versatile solution for a variety of applications, including material handling, intralogistics, and food and beverage. Options include foot, flange, or face mounting; hollow or solid shaft; and a choice of six sizes. The 92.1 series is designed to disperse heat and keep the gear unit cool in high temperature environments.

Said Monteverdi: “We’ve been relying exclusively on NORD for our power transmission needs since 1999 and have never had a failure.”