By Jeff Nazzaro, Product Manager, Parker Hannifin
Only about one-third of motor-driven motion systems use gearing, even though gearheads benefit size-constrained applications and those running at 1,000 rpm or less. Other advantages of using a gearhead with a servomotor abound.
Torque multiplication: Gearheads provide a mechanical advantage when mounted to the motor output shaft. The number of gears, and the number of teeth on each, create a mechanical advantage defined by a ratio. If a motor generates 100 lb-in. of torque, attaching a 5:1 gearhead generates output torque approaching 500lb-in. depending on gearhead efficiency.
Speed reduction: Gearheads are often called gear reducers because most increase output torque while decreasing output speed. A motor running at 1,000 rpm fitted with a 5:1 ratio gearhead outputs 200 rpm. This speed reduction improves system performance because many motors do not operate efficiently at low rpm.