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Application of the Month

Economical Gearheads Are Enough For Most Applications
April, 2015 - View all Application Examples

Automated processes are being incorporated into more and more factory operations in the hope of improving production efficiency and product consistency. As a result, the use of servo motors and the controls to run them are expanding into areas not previously considered or considered too costly in the past.

However, costs don’t have to be extreme. Not every servo controlled application requires high precision and the added costs that are associated with it. Providing simple controls along with mechanical advantage and inertia matching to provide 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 a right angle servo gear head to drive a star wheel mechanism, in a cyclic manner, which had been accomplished by cam drives in the past. It was moving in a continuous forward direction with a variably stop/start 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 customers design.

In this case, a high precision servo gear head that would usually be 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. In this case a Varvel Servo Worm servo gear head. While extremely low backlash was sacrificed, high performance, easy mounting and reliable operation was not.

The Varvel servo gearhead is Italian engineered with a lot of features included in more expensive gearheads. It was designed to provide a more appropriate solution for applications requiring less stringent performance characteristics, at a more economical price. While the internal construction is different than that found in the typical bevel planetary design offered by others, there is no shortage of quality either in the components used or in their assembly.

This design offers many of the benefits including compact torque multiplication, inertia matching and ground gears for precise rotary motion. While slightly more backlash is a trade off, radial capacity is increased, torque capacity is similar and the ability to shaft mount can eliminate a coupling saving even more. The added value of a lower price makes this the recommended solution for a variety of 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 technology 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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