A gearmotor is a type of electric motor that utilizes a gear system at its output, and the assembly is often referred to as a gearbox or gear reducer. With a gearbox paired alongside an electric motor, the complexity and cost of a design can be minimized, ensuring an optimal solution for motors that perform in high torque, low speed operations. In this blog, we will discuss gearmotors in more detail, allowing you to better understand their use and the various options that one has when purchasing them.
When shopping on the market for a gearmotor, one will first have to decide what type of motor that they will use. While gearmotors are categorized in various ways, the most common classification method is to separate motors based on whether they operate with alternating or direct current. It is important to ensure that the correct type of power source is used, as such characteristics have an impact on reliability, cost, and speed control. Alongside such categories, DC servomotors and stepper motors are other options that are fairly common.
DC servomotors are those that feature an adjustable shaft that is managed through coded signals that are transferred to the motor. While servomotors consist of a smaller assembly when compared to other options, they are still able to produce a large amount of power and are fairly easy to control. On the other hand, stepper motors are a type that are able to carry out incremental motion that comes as a response to current pulses that adjust the polarity of stator poles. As stepper motors do not need any feedback, they can be used in open loop applications with ease.
Once the motor is decided upon, the next step is to consider the gearbox arrangement that will be present with the gearmotor. Generally, the gear system arrangement will determine certain features of the gearmotor’s operation, making it important to consider. For the most simplistic option, spur gears are quite useful as they are compact and cheap. With shaft mounted straight teeth and one or more pinion-gear sets, spur gear systems are fairly versatile in their use and allow for cascading to bolster reduction ratios. Despite this, they can be noisy in operation.
Worm gears are capable of achieving high reduction and compact right-angle power transmission, and this is made possible through right-angled drives, shafts, and other components. Worm gears are known for their high precision and little need for maintenance, and their gears can take on high shock loads. Nevertheless, they are often non-reversible and exhibit low efficiency. Alongside such examples, users may also take advantage of bevel gears, planetary gears, and other arrangements to achieve desired characteristics.
Beyond the physical attributes of a gearmotor such as the type of motor or gear arrangement, users should also shop for solutions based on the performance specifications that are necessary for a given application. For instance, the gearmotor should meet requirements for reduction ratio, torque, speed, gearbox efficiency, and backlash. Additionally, shaft orientation is also critical for its effect on motor performance, load delivery, and footprint.
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