Engineering Notes by Oriental Motor

Minimize Machine Footprint with Right Angle Gear Motors

[fa icon="calendar"] Oct 1, 2018 8:31:15 AM / by Johann Tang

Johann Tang

Parallel shaft gear motors are the standard configuration in the industry.  However, right angle gear motors are gaining popularity for its ability to minimize the footprint of a machine, such as a conveyor.  Another factor that should be considered is the type of gears used in the gearhead.  While worm gear technology is popular, its gear efficiency can vary from 50~90% depending on gear ratio.  On the other hand, hypoid gear technology keeps its efficiency at 80~95% regardless of gear ratio.  Higher gear efficiency allows more torque to be transferred from the motor to the load shaft, and sometimes allows even smaller motors to be used.

Belt conveyor with parallel shaft gear motor


An ideal application example is shown below where a parallel shaft gear motor is installed on the side of a belt conveyor.  Notice how the motor and gearhead protrudes out from the conveyor.  This increases the footprint of the machine and can present a safety issue.  Also, additional components, such as couplings and mounting plates, are necessary for installation.



CHALLENGE: Improve efficiency & minimizing equipment footprint

Conventional Equipment: An AC induction motor is installed on the conveyor with a parallel shaft gearhead and a coupling mechanism.  An inverter (VFD) is typically used for speed control (not shown).

Problems with Conventional Equipment: 

  • The motor and transfer mechanism protruding on the side of the conveyor is taking up more space than it should.  Therefore, it is difficult to add more conveyors side by side.
  • The number of parts  and labor hours needed to install the motor on the equipment is excessive.
  • Parallel shaft gear motors typically use helical or spur gears, which feature less torque transfer efficiency than hypoid gears.

SOLUTION: BMU Series brushless motor + JH gearhead + AC input driver

Use a compact and high power BMU Series brushless motor with JH gearhead (right-angle hypoid type) to reduce the motor protrusion on the side conveyor.  The efficient JH type gearhead also requires fewer parts to install to a conveyor (face mount or use a torque arm).  Since both brushless motors and the JH gearheads are more efficient than AC motors and parallel shaft gearheads, the motor size and power consumption can also be reduced.  To make it even easier to replace AC motors and inverters (VFDs), we offer AC input drivers for our brushless motors.  The easy-to-install BMU Series also increases operational efficiency by reducing labor hours.

Belt conveyor with right angle gear motorRight angle gear motor with torque arm installation

Advantages offered by BMU Series:

  • JH right-angle hypoid gearhead features high rigidity, torque & efficiency
  • Motor protrusion is reduced
  • Motor size is also reduced
  • Face mount (left) / torque arm (above)
  • Fewer parts to install

Motor length and parts reduction

RESULT: reduced labor hours by using fewer parts

Watch how a right-angle gearhead can improve machine design & installation

Read the next post to see how much mass can be reduced by switching to brushless motors.

Also: AC motors+right-angle gearheads

Topics: Conveyor, AC Motors, Speed Control, VIDEOS, BLDC Motors, Gearheads, Application Examples

Johann Tang

Written by Johann Tang

Johann Tang is a Product Specialist at Oriental Motor USA Corp. with 20+ years of experience in sales, technical application support, and training of various types of fractional horsepower electric motors, gear motors, actuators, drivers, and controllers. Feel free to ask him questions on Linkedin.

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