Thursday 23 July 2009

Miniature power transmission

New ovoid gearbox design offers 4x output torque for miniature power transmission applications

In what could become a veritable landmark in the world of miniature power transmission, Rotalink has combined spur and planetary gear stages within the industry standard ovoid gearbox for a potential output torque increase of at least 400%. The new gearboxes, available in three model sizes, are the result of an intensive and ongoing design initiative carried out by manufacturer that takes its lead from advances in ultra polymer materials technology and production techniques, and offers further benefits of higher power-to-weight ratio, reduced installation volume and quieter operation.

All three new gearbox lines will enable higher torque or reduced gearbox size for existing customer applications and pave the way for next generation miniature powertrain systems across all industries

The new gearboxes are the 330 series - a form-fit mounting replacement for the conventional ‘standard’ industrial ovoid gearbox with a vastly improved 13 Nm peak holding torque; and the 360 series - a slightly larger model with a massive 28 Nm peak torque in gearbox case that measures just 95 mm x 60 mm x 31.5 mm deep. The third and completely new gearbox model, the 310, is Rotalink’s smallest ovoid design and mounts within a volume of just 45 mm x 29 mm x 20 mm deep but boasts a 2.6 Nm holding torque for a 10000 hour life.

A wide range of ratios are available, typically from 24:1 to 3200:1 depending upon the model size with maximum output speeds between 300 to 400 rpm. All include a zinc plated pressed steel gearbox case and cover with 4-point mounting for maximum durability. Spur gears run on fixed steel spindles leading to the final planetary output stage with precision ball bearings supporting the stainless steel output shaft which is available as a standard flatted design or can be customised for the application.

For the 310 series, they also offer all spur gear versions and different levels of advanced gear materials, with a choice of plain or ball bearings. These options de-rate the maximum torque and performance capability but maintain a flexibility through the range that allows keen pricing for less demanding applications. The new 330 and 360 series are also available with different levels of gear materials and a choice of bearings

All gearboxes are designed for fast and straightforward interfacing with their comprehensive range of DC, AC and stepping motors along with single and dual channel feedback encoders which are fitted directly between the motor/gearbox assemblies. This allows the use of “off the shelf” single output shaft motors and helps to reduce product costs and development timescales.

Rotalink’s holistic approach to miniature power transmission also includes current limiting boards which are useful in DC motor applications to limit torque, and complete motion controls such as Red Drive which allows straightforward drive and control with an easy-to-use graphical programming language that requires no previous programming or motion controls knowledge. Along with special output shafts and wiring/connector options, customised designs can include ancillary products such as output gears, leadscrew output shafts, pulleys, clutches and brakes.

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