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Advice for Working with Gearboxes   

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Keeping gearboxes and geared motor units humming along nicely requires plenty of care and maintenance, as well as getting the set-up right in the first place. Here we explain three of the ways in which you can ensure your gearmotors and gearboxes remain in optimal condition for as long as possible, even while operating to their maximum capacities.

Determine the Required Torque When Sizing

The two most vital elements of a gearbox output shaft are its speed and its load capacity, or how much work it can do. The level of these elements are determined by the amount of torque the gearbox must produce. So when you begin sizing a gearmotor for an application, you must identify the speed and available torque at the output shaft of the gearbox.

Thankfully, most designers of modern gearboxes start the design process by determining exactly what torque will be required at the gearbox output shaft. They can then work backwards to figure out the ideal horsepower for the motor input.

Consider Energy Efficiency

The motor type and gearing efficiency will be big factors is how much energy the gearbox consumes. Sometimes gearmotor energy efficiency can be increased by using a permanent magnet DC motor instead of a permanent split capacitor. This can happen when a permanent split capacitor’s higher ceiling of potential efficiency is unable to be achieved at the application’s load point.

Three-phase gearmotors are also generally more efficient than single-phase geared motors, and will usually be more reliable thanks to their more basic design. If a three-phase gearmotor is unavailable, then a variable frequency drive might be able to convert a single-phase input into a three-phase output to achieve greater energy efficiency.

Maximise Gearbox Performance

Multiple factors determine the efficiency and performance of a geared motor unit, with suitable electrical input power vital to the required output power, which can then produce the necessary speed and load torque. The ratio of input power to output power must be aligned at all times.

Excessive friction also causes power loss and decreased performance due to the heat that is generated. This is especially a problem with larger gearboxes, though the use of oil coolers and pumps can help minimise any excessive heat issues. The friction itself can be minimised with higher quality gearing, with considerations to the amount of tooth engagements and the load torque capacity.

Keep in mind that ideal operating conditions for gearboxes generally require heavy loading and with high ratios. Light loading with a high ratio will likely result in a diminished performance.

If you require any gearboxes or geared motor units, then contact YB Components who are the UK’s leading gearmotor suppliers in Yorkshire. We keep local stocks of all such parts and more ready to ship out fast and free all over the UK and the rest of the world.