Design World Motion System Trends Handbook April 2017

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This stainless-steel reducer from Cone Drive is suitable for sterile manufacturing environments. The smooth housings make for bacteriafree surfaces and allow easy cleaning.



THE FUNDAMENTAL TRANSMISSION of mechanical power hasn’t changed in several hundred years. “Coupled to most rotary electric motors is either a chainsprocket drive, a belt-pulley drive, or a gear drive,” said Brian Dengel, general manager of KHK USA. "Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but none of them have become obsolete,” he added. Nevertheless, gear design has seen the recent rise of custom gearing; a trend towards manufacturing for better gearboxes and servogear sets; and industry migration towards helical gearing and other efficient choices. 76


Gearing — MC Trends 04.17 V3.indd 76

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“Many things in power-transmission design for automation have changed over the past decade,” said Marc Halliburton, engineering manager at Motion Index Drives, manufacturer of precision indexing machinery and seventh-axis robot transfer systems. “We’ve seen a huge shift to smaller OEM and end-user designs and applications, which in turn allows use of smaller transmissions and servomotors in automation,” added Halliburton. For electric motors, many engineers specifying indexing machinery are concerned about motor efficiency and want to ensure the ac motors used are more than 90% efficient to conserve electricity. “Here, the power transmissions we use as gear reducers have improved integral designs for space savings as well as efficiency.” That’s just one example of the move to have motion-component suppliers do more integration and design work to meet user objectives such as efficiency — and one would be hard pressed to find a geared design not touched by the near-universal OEM and plant-engineer demand for upfront engineering to satisfy specific geometries as well. |

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