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Application of the Month

Inserting the Right Package
December, 2006 - View all Application Examples

It's the economy, stupid! This memorable political quotation can also be a relevant observation in machine design. Not every servo controlled application requires high precision. Providing mechanical advantage and inertia matching to a motion profile is all that is necessary in many system requirements.

A customer recently presented us with a relatively simple package insertion application. The requirement was for an inline servo gear head to drive a star wheel mechanism in a cam action manner. It was driving in a continuous forward direction with a variably cyclic motion profile, dependant on the size of the product being inserted. Because there was no reversing motion, and the positioning tolerances were only minimally critical, torque multiplication and inertia matching were of primary importance.

In this case, a high precision servo gear head considered for more highly dynamic or position critical applications was not necessary. We were able to offer a more economical solution that met all the requirements, by providing a Planetdrive brand servo gear head. While extremely low backlash was sacrificed, high performance and reliable operation was not.

The Planetdrive servo gear head product line is German engineered with a lot of features designed to provide an appropriate solution for applications requiring less stringent performance characteristics. While the internal construction is slightly different than that found in high precision designs, there is no shortage of quality, either in the components used or in their assembly.

The Planetdrive offers many of the benefits of more expensive gearheads including compact torque multiplication, inertia matching, ground gears for precise rotary motion, and a thermal expansion compensation feature. Slightly more backlash and a reduced radial capacity, along with some torque capacity, are the only real tradeoffs. But the added value of a lower price makes this the recommended solution for most servo controlled applications.

As more and more servo systems are being specified by electrical engineers, the nuances of the mechanical components are being less considered. Maximizing the value of a drive design includes providing the correct gear head for the job. Highly dynamic and precise position applications require one kind of gear head. Simpler motion control applications can utilize a different kind of gear head. Knowing when to use which, optimizes the cost and performance of the machine being designed.

DieQua not only offers the widest range of servo gear head designs but provides the selection assistance to help chose the best one for each application. It's through consulting with our customers and analyzing their specific needs, that we can be most helpful in achieving the desired design results.

Chris Popp
Director of Marketing

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