Packaged Gear Drives

In many cases, it is preferable to select a packaged gear drive rather than a set of open gears that must be mounted and housed.

The relative merits of a packaged drive, or "gear reducer," versus open gearing are many. The packaged drive consists essentially of gears, housing, bearings, shafts, oil seals, and a positive means of lubrication. Frequently, reducers also include any or all of the following: electric motor and accessories, bedplates or motor supports, outboard bearings, a mechanical or electric device providing overload protection, a means of preventing reverse rotation, and other special features as specified.

The advantages of packaged gear drives have been well established and should be given consideration when selecting the type of gear drive for the application:

1. Power conservation. Because of accurate gear design, quality construction, proper bearings, and adequate lubrication, minimum loss between applied and delivered power is assured.

2. Low maintenance. If the correct design and power capacity for the requirements are selected and the recommended operating instructions are followed, low maintenance costs will result.

3. Operating safety. All gears, bearings, and shafts are enclosed in oil-tight, strongly built cast iron or steel housings.

4. Low noise and vibration level. Precision gearing is carefully balanced and mounted on accurate bearings. The transmitting motion is uniform and shock-free. The entire mechanism is tightly sealed in sound-damping rigid housing. Noise and vibration are reduced to a minimum.

5. Space conservation. Units are entirely self-contained and extremely compact; therefore, they require a small space. This also enables them to be installed in out-of-the-way locations.

6. Adverse operating conditions. Enclosure designs have been developed to protect the mechanism from dirt, dust, soot, abrasive substances, moisture, or acid fumes.

7. Economy. Units permit the use of high-speed prime movers directly connected to low applied speeds.

8. Life expectancy. The life of a unit can be predetermined by design and made unlimited if it is correctly aligned and properly maintained.

9. Power and ratios. Units are available in almost all desired ratios and for all practical power requirements.

10. Cooling systems. Greater attention to sump capacity for oil and the use of fan air cooling have allowed higher powers to be transmitted through smaller units without overheating.

11. Appearance. Housings have been streamlined for eye appeal as well as for reduction of weight and space.

12. Rugged capabilities. The ruggedness of steel-constructed welded housings and modern housings produces higher reliability and service life.

Types of Gear Packages Gear packages are used in multiple combinations to produce the ratio desired in the unit. Units are available in single-, double-, and triple-reduction configurations. Three stages of reduction are generally the maximum number used in standard reducers, although it is possible to use four or even more stages. Units for increasing the output speed generally have only one gear set, although at times two-stage units have been used successfully as speed increasers. Gear packages may be assembled with shaft arrangements that are right-handed or left-handed (Figure 7).

ALLOWABLE SPEEDS OF GEAR REDUCERS The maximum speed of a gear reducer is limited by the accuracy of the machined gear teeth, the balance of the rotating parts, the allowable

shafting

parallel

right angle

assembly

right hand

left hand

right hand

left hand

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