Engineering360 has asked its users about the latest design trends and features related to Gearboxes and Gearheads. They have also shared their product applications and tips on how to buy and use these products.
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Q:
What are some of the applications you have used gearboxes and gearheads for?
130 answers
Answers:
Bridle application, Flattener, Pinch roll, Irrigation application, Cement industries, Cooling tower gearbox, Right angle drive gearbox, hot roll mill application, uncoiler - recoiler gearbox, paper industries, extrusion application (Plastic + Rubber) etc...
~Nimroj Maknojiya, Design Engineer, Thane, IND
Tidal power generator designs. 3D laser prosthetic and orthotic scanner assemblies. Down hole production pipe and casing damage scanners. Oil & Gas well and pipe emergency closure equipment and etc.
~John C, Senior Partner, Inchture Scotland, United Kingdom
Crane luffing gearbox (quadruple threaded screw rod driven from helical spur wheel gearing, cardanic frame for supporting the gearbox housing, special lubrication system for spindle bronze nut)
~Alojz Klobasa, Chief mechanical design engineer (crane design), Maribor, Slovenia
1. Designed and manufactured many special purpose machines. 2. Used in servo drive motors application. 3. Now trying to design and manufacturer low cost/power wind mills using epicyclic.
~Venkatasamy Seenivasan, Engineering Consultant, Chennai, India
I have used Helical Gears in my Design project. I mainly had to optimize them in every possible way. Also, there was a requirement to design them to certain specifications.
~Engineering, Design, London, Great Britain
Driving head of system in military vehicle. Driving unit in medical systems. Driving unit of agricultural machines. Driving unit of all kinds of transferring systems.
~Engineering, Design, Haifa, Israel
Power Plant Crusher Drives, Steel Mill Pinion Stands, BOF Drives, Run out table drives, Coal conveyor drives, most paper mill drives, wind turbine drive repairs.
~James Haldane, Technical Support, Black Diamond, Canada
Part of synchro resolver gear trains. Used ratios of 1:10, 1:72, 1:36. Mostly part of roll, pitch, yaw information from gyro compass aboard naval vessels.
~Technical Support/Services, Staten Island, NY
Mixers, conveyors, material handling cranes, elevators, plastic thermoforming equipment, packaging equipment, wastewater filter presses, screw pumps.
~Jeff W, Marketing/Sales, Chicago, IL
Adjusting conveyor system speeds, driving automatic positioning equipment @ specified speeds, powering indexing stops, driving elevating platforms.
~Engineering, Design, Morganfield, KY
Different types of gear boxes for various applications like Agitators, Blowers, Cranes, Crushers Elevators, Conveyors Mixers and so much more.
~Manoj Panchal, Senior Manager --Design, V.VIDYANAGAR, India
1) Automated closing lids for garbage trucks 2) Many types of conveyor belt systems in recycling centers 3) Rotating welding tables
~Charlie R, Design Engineer, Fallbrook, CA
Frozen Carbonated Bev Machine, Packaging Equipment, Conveyor Ovens, Machine tool chip conveyors, Agricultural Equipment, etc.
~Pete R, Marketing/Sales, Mundelein, IL
Worm gearboxes, high reduction planetary GB, harmonic drives etc. for conveyors, robot, indexer etc.
~Engineering, Consulting, Pune, India
Rotary feeder, conveyors, puller, elevators, torque testing m/c, lot type of special purpose machines.
~Chandrakant S. Hadawale H, Design Engineer, Pune, India
Winders in mining, windmill applications, rotating equipment, dredging applications, pump drives ...
~Marc Gys, Engineering Consultant, Tessenderlo, Belgium
Conveyors Machines Quay Cranes Yard Cranes Pumps Cooling towers Crushing sugar cane Screw press
~Engineering, Other, Singapore
Worm gears, parallel shaft, bevel gear, planetary: Cranes, recycling, wood products, oil production.
~Mike B, Marketing/Sales, Vancouver, WA
You name it. Semiconductor, packaging, aerospace, woodworking, various manufacturing machines, etc...
~David L, Sales Engineer, Santa Clara, CA
I use gearboxes for designing of conveyor drive, prime mover that directly coupled to a motor.
~Engineering, Design, Pasig, Philippines
We use gear, generally use bevel gears either for large size valves or high pressure valve.
~CHANDRAPRAKASH D, General Management, NAVI MUMBAI, INDIA
Mostly wind-machines for frost control.....some for production line conveyor equipment.
~General Management, Osoyoos, Canada
Agricultural Implements, Irrigation Systems, Construction Equipment, Custom Application.
~Brian B, Technical Support, Mt Orab, OH
All sawmill and pulp and paper drive applications, conveyor drives, agitator drives, etc..
~Ron C, Technical Support, Quesnel, Canada
Power tools building automation packaging electric screen instruments automation
~STEFANO GARAVAGLIA, Project Manager, Milano, Italy
Extrusion of plastic, feed rollers and horizontal and vertical movement of equipment.
~Dennis G, Project Manager, Paragould, AR
Mining Conveyor drives, wind turbines, high speed drives for oil and gas application.
~Marketing/Sales, Huddersfield, Great Britain
Irrigation power pumping plants and gear heads employed with agriculture implements.
~Engineering, Design, Lafayette, LA
I haven't used any yet, but plan to use them in a design for an automated cabinet.
~Engineer, APO AE, DC
Conveyors, mixer, coolant tower, cement furnace, steel industry, paper industry...
~Manufacturing, Baldwin, NY
All kind of applications which need the speed reduction and increased torque.
~Sergio D., Technical Support, Chihuahua, Mexico
Gear boxes in vehicle and gear heads to assemble gear box in assembly shop.
~Sreejith Kumar, Engineer, Chennai/Coimbatore, India
M/C tools Printing presses Marine applications Mining and mineral sizing
~Gordon Strachan, CEO. of a sub contract gear manufacturer, Arbroath, United Kingdom
Conveying systems, crushing systems, milling systems, slurry pumps, etc..
~Production Engineer, Arequipa, Peru
Wheel drive reduction epicyclic units Clutched speed increaser gearboxes
~Engineering, Design, Betchworth, Great Britain
Conveyors, Hoists, Palletizer, Screw Conveyors, Mills, Mixers, ect.
~Noel Brand, Logistics Controller, Johannesburg, South Africa
Use for rotary table with indexing function. Using servo motor drive.
~General Corporate Mgmt, Cabuyao Laguna, Philippines
We are using them in our 6x6 vehicle conversion at 6x6 Australia.
~Research & Development, CORAKI, Australia
Conveyors, mixers, lifts, crane, packing, bucket elevators...
~Ionel M, Design Engineer, Campina, Romania
Conveyors, Rail car movers, Industrial Mining support tooling.
~Engineering, Design, South River, Canada
Bucket elevators, drag conveyors, belt conveyors, cement kilns.
~John Samir, Design Engineer, Alexandria, Egypt
Machine tools, rolling mills, hot rods, race cars, you name it.
~Rick. A., Engineer, Alton, IL
CONVEYORS, CRANES, FOUNDRY EQUIPMENTS, TEXTILE MACHINERY.
~Engineering, Design, Coimbatore, India
Steel Application (Roller Table & Pipe cage in pipe mill)
~SATVIK PITHWA, Marketing/Sales, Ahmedabad, India
Process Machinery Printing presses Inserting equipment
~Chris S, Facilities Manager, Red Deer, Canada
NAVY contracts, marine environment, robotic actuation.
~Mechanical Engineer, Rockville, MD
For machinery - heavy duty conveyors, pharma machinery.
~Manufacturing, DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania
Exhibit and special effects design and manufacturing.
~Technical Support/Services, Portland, OR
Marine application. Reverse and reduction gearboxes.
~Eduardo L I, Marketing/Sales, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Healthcare devices, food industry, general industry.
~Engineering, Design, Skanderborg, Denmark
Mostly conveyor type drives for the food industry.
~Steve J, Design Engineer, Hayward, MN
Motorcycles and go carts, and one Porsche race car.
~Bill H, Retired Engineer now engineering trouble shooter, Jönköping, Sweden
Commercial laundry equipment, farm equipment uses.
~Ben G, Owner/operator fabricare plant, Manager of process equip, Natchez, MS
Primarily for solar concentrators and heliostats.
~James B, Professor, Huntsville, AL
I'm studying mainly marine propulsion gearboxes.
~Engineering, Design, La montagne, France
Conveyors, Pumps, and various other applications.
~Cal M, General Management, Dublin, Ireland
In mixing plants, pumps and processing equipment.
~Engineering, Consulting, Woerden, Netherlands
On injection pump package driven by gas turbine.
~Technical Support/Services, Vungtau, Viet Nam
In machine tools a lumber mill ( saw) machinery.
~Doug H, Owner ,Engineer some what retired, Portland, Naselle Wa, OR
Large Conveyor drives, Stackers, Reclaimers etc...
~Johann P, Condition Monitoring Superintendent, Secunda, South Africa
Conveying; cam motion; movement synchronization.
~Research & Development, S B Campo, Brazil
Persons and goods elevators and materials hoist.
~Toros A, General Management, Bucuresti, Romania
Oil Field Production, Irrigation Applications.
~Purchasing, Mullinville, KS
Pumps , Conveyors, Water & Wastewater, Mixers.
~Marketing/Sales, Farmersville, TX
Exercise equipment, meat grinding applications.
~Marketing/Sales, St. Charles, IL
Universal gearbox manual shift speed gearbox.
~Engineering, Design, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Conveyor systems linear motion aviation ind.
~Technical Support/Services, Grapeland, TX
Linear stages, rotary tables, drill spindles.
~Chris Y, Automation Engineer, Hamilton, Canada
To make spindle heads and portable machines.
~Luis Carlos Pereira, Project Manager, Maia, Portugal
In grinding mill, handling equipments etc...
~Lokendra P, Engineer, Nimuch, India
Conveyors, rack and pinion linear drives.
~Design Engineer, Oconomowoc, WI
Car seat structures and steering columns.
~Research & Development, Solingen, Germany
Conveyors, Cement mixers, Transmissions.
~Keith G, Technical Support, Mayfield, KY
Conveyors...Hoists....Assembly machines.
~Allan S, Marketing/Sales, Minneapolis, MN
Electronic actuators & manual gearboxes.
~Engineering, Design, Missouri City, TX
Army trucks, automatic basket machines.
~Manufacturing, Mount hope, Canada
Product Mixing, conveying, vacuum system.
~Maintenance/Facilities Management, Cleburne, TX
Conveyors hoists rotating applications
~Barry W, Engineering Consultant, Christchurch, New Zealand
Conveyor, mixer and many more machines.
~Maintenance/Facilities Management, St-Hubert, Canada
Belt presses, mixers, conveyors, etc.
~Kirk W, Technical Support, Orangeburg, SC
To drive ball mills, pumps and kilns.
~Patrick C, Engineer, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica
Metal cutting band saws drive system.
~General Corporate Mgmt, Magnolia, TX
Final Drives, Transmissions & Axles.
~Nitin K, Technical Support, Pune, India
Hard &Soft Gelatin Capsule Machine
~Engineering, Design, ODORHEIU-SECUIESC, Romania
Commercial vehicles and race cars.
~Technical Support/Services, Riobamba, Ecuador
On remote controlled X-ray tables.
~Technical Support/Services, Cobargo, Australia
Power swivels and hyd top drives.
~GARY J, MECH DESIGNER, HOUSTON, TX
CVT drive trains for motorcycles.
~Other, Heltonville, IN
To move very heavy pressing dies.
~Marketing/Sales, Mumbai - 400 013, India
Automotive power transmission.
~Other, Canal Winchester, OH
Portable drill speed reduction.
~Student, Star City, WV
Motorcycles, go karts buggies.
~Engineering, Design, Manville, RI
Chain conveyor, rotary feeder.
~Technical Support/Services, ABUDHABI, United Arab Emirates
Welding manipulators, ......
~Falah A, Engineering Consultant, Musafah/Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
CNC plasma cutting machines.
~Manufacturing, Zagreb, Croatia
Lift, transmission, mixer.
~Hsieh Ching jang, Purchaser, Kaoshiung, Taiwan
Some machine modifications.
~Technical Support/Services, Barreal, Costa Rica
Propulsion and scrub heads.
~Geoff Z, Engineer, Englewood, CO
Power Mobility Equipment
~Ray R, Technical Support, Lebanon, PA
Snow blowers lawn mowers
~Other, Williams lake, Canada
High mobility drivelines.
~Engineering, Design, Co.Meath, Ireland
Building electric carts.
~George F, Builder/Contractor, San Clemente, CA
Motor torque increase
~Zhao John, Marketing/Sales, Wuxi City/Luoshe Town, China
Automobile transmission.
~Manufacturing, Pune (Maharastra), India
Industrial and aviation.
~Anthony Rotundo, Design Engineer, Fairhope, AL
For machinery and spms
~Manufacturing, Bangalore, India, India
Maintenance TEACHING
~Engineering, Faculty/Staff/Student, Lephalale, South Africa
In the tumbler drier.
~Engineering, Process/Production, BARRANQUILLA, Colombia
Tidal energy device.
~Research & Development, Lions Bay, Canada
Driving Boring Bars.
~Engineering, Design, Belvidere, IL
Vehicles, machinery.
~Engineering, Faculty/Staff/Student, Horsens, Denmark
Axles, transmission.
~Product Engineer, Taizhou, China
Car and light truck.
~Other, Ke isabella blvd, CA
Acme thread drives.
~Peter R, President, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Railway equipment.
~Technical Support/Services, Singapore 579828, Singapore
Textile machinery.
~Engineering, Process/Production, YARITAGUA, Venezuela
Industrial plants.
~Engineering, Process/Production, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Power transmission.
~Student, Guatemala
Water Pump Sets.
~General Corporate Mgmt, Taipei Hsien, Taiwan
Speed reduction.
~Engineering, Process/Production, Mumbai, India
Heavy vehicles.
~Subbu Chitra, Engineer, Chennai, India
For maintenance.
~Engineering, Other, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Stepper motors.
~Engineering, Process/Production, Kochi, India
Motion Control.
~Architect/Builder/Contractor, Oslo, Norway
Automobiles.
~Engineering, Other, Sana'a, Yemen
In foundry
~Praful Dalvi, Manufacturer, Kolhapur, India
Industrial
~Technical Support/Services, Round Rock, TX
Conveyors
~Greg L, Marketing/Sales, Sydney, Australia
Conveyors
~Engineering, Design, Chicoutimi, Canada
Robotics
~Research & Development, Auburn Hills, MI

Top
Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that gearboxes and gearheads have been used for.
31 answers
Answers:
Too many to mention - one strange one was a Greyhound treadmill and a carousel for exercising race horses.
~Cal M, General Management, Dublin, Ireland
Rotating a 300 ton furnace. Applications this size normally makes use of heavy industrial equipment. In this case, the customer made use of light to medium geared motors in combination with servo technology. A very unique design.
~Noel Brand, Logistics Controller, Johannesburg, South Africa
Direct mounting of index table onto worm-type or helical gear box without external guides or thrust bearings.
~Chris Y, Automation Engineer, Hamilton, Canada
Extreme gear ratios used for high speed or record speed attempts. That is how a 125cc motorcycle could reach 230kmh.
~Bill H, Retired Engineer now engineering trouble shooter, Jönköping, Sweden
Wind turbine drives are some of the most diverse problems that need to be resolved. The failure rate seems to be high, but some of the problems look like poor engineering thinking - exp no undercut at root of teeth, so NO flex in tooth when under shock or load.
~James Haldane, Technical Support, Black Diamond, Canada
Go to my You Tube site to see my project the ZKart http://www.youtube.com/user/georgefortin
~George F, Builder/Contractor, San Clemente, CA
Our gearboxes are used in FREMM frigates, and nearly all the French military ships.
~Engineering, Design, La montagne, France
One non -std. application for cricket coaching in which for bowling of ball one type of gear box used.
~Manoj Panchal, Senior Manager --Design, V.VIDYANAGAR, India
Long parallel shaft gearbox so the motor and the output shaft are on the same side.
~Mike B, Marketing/Sales, Vancouver, WA
Right angle gear box attached to a vertical mill with Infinite rigid positions.
~Doug H, Owner ,Engineer some what retired, Portland, Naselle Wa, OR
Use as a reducer for slurry transfer pumps driven by AC. induction motor.
~Patrick C, Engineer, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica
Planetary gearbox type : GEB 92 E 1058 BY : BOCSH REXROTH GROUP
~Engineering, Other, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
In a machine that was made for training horses, like a carousel.
~Sergio D., Technical Support, Chihuahua, Mexico
1km long flying fox, with cradle synchronization a live cable.
~Barry W, Engineering Consultant, Christchurch, New Zealand
To generate an electric pulse to sync two electrical motors.
~Research & Development, S B Campo, Brazil
To operate private water supply pumps for farms.
~General Management, Osoyoos, Canada
6x6 conversions, in the drive through assembly.
~Research & Development, CORAKI, Australia
Movable platforms, for high temperature ovens...
~Ezequiel Salazar, Project Manager, Mexico
Assisted lift ladders for handicapped persons.
~Peter R, President, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Wind power generation (speed increasers)
~Jeff W, Marketing/Sales, Chicago, IL
@ torque testing machines @ grabbers
~Chandrakant S. Hadawale H, Design Engineer, Pune, India
Power-take-off generation for ships.
~Eduardo L I, Marketing/Sales, Buenos Aires, Argentina
38 years of use without lubrication!
~Marc Gys, Engineering Consultant, Tessenderlo, Belgium
Motorcycle drive trains.
~Other, Heltonville, IN
Wind generator sets
~Product Engineer, Taizhou, China
Training purposes
~Engineering, Faculty/Staff/Student, Lephalale, South Africa
Torque multiplier
~Maintenance/Facilities Management, St-Hubert, Canada
Renewable energy
~Nitin K, Technical Support, Pune, India
Test Stands
~Allan S, Marketing/Sales, Minneapolis, MN
Linear
~Zhao John, Marketing/Sales, Wuxi City/Luoshe Town, China
Crane
~Subbu Chitra, Engineer, Chennai, India

Top
Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of gearboxes and gearheads?
35 answers
Answers:
Yes. Mostly, the use of these systems in the field, with many, many wind induced load cycles over the years results in a fatigue failure. This is especially true, I think, with high gear reduction systems, because the backlash/compliance allow the wind induced vortex shedding loads to induce high movement of the structure (say, a heliostat or parabolic dish concentrator) and this puts very high impulse loads on the input stages. There are various failures under field conditions that are likely due to this.
~James B, Professor, Huntsville, AL
Had a customer purchase a planetary gearbox and use it in a wind turbine. Installed it backwards to increase the output speed and the gearbox ripped itself apart because the misuse of the gearbox design. Also had a different customer who kept going through gearboxes in less than 2,000 hrs of use because he did not calculate over hung load in the sizing of the gearbox.
~Mike B, Marketing/Sales, Vancouver, WA
In a paper mill, a 80 HP electric motor and gear box broke down and the only replacement locally available was a 60 HP and gear box. When power was turned on, the machine ceased and was damaged. The plant was down for two weeks.
~Anthony Rotundo, Design Engineer, Fairhope, AL
Yes - one manufacturer used a snap ring to handle axial load on a worm drive speed reducer gearbox and said ring would not handle the load and failed. The fix was to replace all the shafts with a threaded design that used a nut instead.
~Charlie R, Design Engineer, Fallbrook, CA
An article I read a few years ago showed just how disastrous it can be. A small sugar mill burned down as the product requested and supplied did not cover the required ATEX specification. Luckily no one died, but there were some serious injuries. The cause was due to lack of product knowledge between the end user, supplier and manufacturer. Unfortunately, I never followed up further.
~Noel Brand, Logistics Controller, Johannesburg, South Africa
One case we mounted a C-face gearbox with the motor up. Someone changed a motor and didn't put a gasket in. During washdown, water would seep into the shaft area and into the gearbox. Premature failure.
~Steve J, Design Engineer, Hayward, MN
Customer sized gearhead to the application specs, then changed the load and speed requirements after putting it into production. There were many gearhead failures until they changed to one size larger.
~Chris Y, Automation Engineer, Hamilton, Canada
Under sizing units to meet or beat price quoting which result in shaft breakage, overheating, improper service factor selections, which creates downtime and customers losing faith in product and supplier.
~Ron C, Technical Support, Quesnel, Canada
I've only seen race failures because the wrong rations were used. Road course races require close rations and much shifting. Use the wrong ratio and the gearbox burns up.
~Bill H, Retired Engineer now engineering trouble shooter, Jönköping, Sweden
Catastrophic failure due to lack of lubricant, incorrect type of lubricant, undersized reducers not properly sized to handle the load & or motor power.
~Jeff W, Marketing/Sales, Chicago, IL
Mainly when machines are improperly ventilated or when the wrong product is applied in a severe environment such as washing with a pressure hose.
~Pete R, Marketing/Sales, Mundelein, IL
Indian Market - Customer provides an X limit gearbox requirement. But in application condition is actually X+. So products tend towards failure.
~Nitin K, Technical Support, Pune, India
It will happen in two conditions: 1. Incorrect selection of gearbox 2. Overload gearbox during its use.
~SATVIK PITHWA, Marketing/Sales, Ahmedabad, India
Yes, if the heat process is not good enough and manufacturing is not carefully controlled, will make bad noise.
~Product Engineer, Taizhou, China
Failure of box in a deep coal mine with subsequent huge costs involved in recovering box for maintenance.
~Gordon Strachan, CEO. of a sub contract gear manufacturer, Arbroath, United Kingdom
Underrating once led to a cost greater than the job it was meant to perform plus injury to a worker.
~Chris S, Facilities Manager, Red Deer, Canada
The loss of lots of money for damaged machines, plus the loss in production in most of the cases.
~Sergio D., Technical Support, Chihuahua, Mexico
As with incorrect usage of any motion system, loads get loose if gearboxes are not used properly.
~David L, Sales Engineer, Santa Clara, CA
Don't get me started - broken 20ft long fan blades spinning through the air @ 60 mph....
~General Management, Osoyoos, Canada
Running way too fast... Incorrect type of gearing for certain load types.
~Allan S, Marketing/Sales, Minneapolis, MN
Over the years, shear or impact loading has caused a number of failures.
~Cal M, General Management, Dublin, Ireland
Many, but the usual is unforeseen damage and high cost for repair.
~Marc Gys, Engineering Consultant, Tessenderlo, Belgium
Check the gears and bearings. Where are they made and Materials.
~Patrick P, General Management, Vancouver, Canada
Lack of lubrication, under powering gear boxes and wrong rpm.
~Doug H, Owner ,Engineer some what retired, Portland, Naselle Wa, OR
Yes, creating a major loss in income. On a hourly basis.
~Barry W, Engineering Consultant, Christchurch, New Zealand
Multiple component failure caused by gearhead failure.
~Brian B, Technical Support, Mt Orab, OH
Worn and broken gears because of mis-applications.
~Dennis G, Project Manager, Paragould, AR
Under specification of load requirements.
~Greg L, Marketing/Sales, Sydney, Australia
@ over load @ lubrication not proper
~Chandrakant S. Hadawale H, Design Engineer, Pune, India
Not taking actual load of application.
~Manoj Panchal, Senior Manager --Design, V.VIDYANAGAR, India
Yes when over speed brake fails.
~Ezequiel Salazar, Project Manager, Mexico
Safety factor too low or too high.
~Johann P, Condition Monitoring Superintendent, Secunda, South Africa
Wrong gear tooth pitch.
~Geoff Z, Engineer, Englewood, CO
Improper maintenance.
~Engineering, Faculty/Staff/Student, Lephalale, South Africa
Wind turbines.
~John C, Senior Partner, Inchture Scotland, United Kingdom

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