Historically, worm gears have been known as the most common type of gears used in a right angle gearhead. Their low cost and robust construction have been sufficient for general purpose applications. However, they are inefficient at slower speeds (higher reduction ratios), produce a lot of heat, take up a lot of space, and require maintenance. As efficiency standards became increasingly important globally, another type of gear is being adopted for right angle gearheads.
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In the market of electric motors, there are products designed for general purpose applications, and there are motors designed for specialized applications, such as automated guided vehicles (AGVs) or autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). While standard, general purpose motors work for most applications such as factory automation, sometimes, it may help shorten your design cycle by going with a motor system that already offers the features that you are planning to implement into your design. In this post, we will summarize some of these features.
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.