An Introduction to Flange Planetary Gearbox

Posted on Apr 22, 2021

Flange Planetary Gearbox

The flange planetary gearbox is the compact gearbox with the output flange design widely adapted by the servo motor, reducing the speed and transmitting the high torques in the motion control system.

Features of a Flange Planetary Gearbox

The flange planetary gearbox is the compact gearbox with the output flange design widely adapted by the servo motor, reducing the speed and transmitting the high torques in the motion control system. 

Planetary gearbox, which is upgraded with different designs like right-angle structure or flange shafts, is one popular form of gear reducer which involves the aligned input and output shafts. A planetary gearbox is designed to reduce the input speed and generate the largest torques within the compact unit. The gear reducer is preferred to be used for electric motors and other power transmission and speed reduction applications. The standard planetary gearbox is also commonly known as the planetary gear reducer or inline planetary gearbox reducer. 

The flange shaft of the flange planetary gearbox has a considerably shorter shaft geometry when compared to the typical cylindrical output shaft in a standard planetary gearbox. This flange design which provides easy attachment as well as excellent transportation of force makes the compact flange planetary gearbox comparable to a standard planetary gearbox that has a normal output shaft but upgrades the flexibility. In addition to the compact output flange interface, the input flange in general flange planetary gearbox can be individually accommodated to your electric motor, effectively handling and absorbing both the radial and axial forces and providing the highest nominal torque.

Another feature of the flange output design in a flange planetary gearbox that can benefit the machinists is the large diameter that can achieve a greater torsional stiffness. The feature makes the flange planetary gearbox reducer advantageous for applications involving changing directions of motion, powered indexing tables or other components requiring high precision and rapid, cyclic movements. With a pulley, some flange planetary gearbox can also fit many styles of the belt for the drive system.

Where Are Flange Planetary Gearboxes Used?

With the compact design, low backlash, high torsional stiffness, quiet and effective operations, the flange planetary gearbox is an invaluable investment for many power transmission and motion control applications today. They can provide easy attachment and maximum torque for construction, medical equipment or conveyor systems, automated machines such as automatic welding machines, material handling machines, food processing machines, robots, press machines and many modern transport applications.

:: Read more: A Quick Guide to Planetary Gearbox

Structure of a Flange Planetary Gearbox

● Flange Shaft:

When it comes to the output flange and input flange in a flange planetary gearbox, they are flexible and adaptable for a wide range of machine elements or motors. The output flange design permits pulleys, gears, rotary tables, and many more transmission shaft elements to be simply attached directly to the output of the gear reducer. Therefore, a flange planetary gearbox is an excellent solution for motion control tasks that need redirecting the power flows. Typically, the attachment of the flange planetary gearbox and the flange to the machine element is simple and fast, and the connection is secured by a dowel hole. As for the input flange of the flange planetary gearbox, it can provide great torsional rigidity to optimize the performance of machine systems with servo, stepper, brushless motors. 

● Planetary Gearbox:

The structure of a planetary gearbox design typically consists of a central “sun gear” with the surrounding planetary, the internal gear and the carrier. The internal gear is the outer ring which has the teeth face inward. This stationary ring meshes with the planetary gears which mesh with the sun gear at the centre of this planet-wheel structure. The carriers support the planetary gears and create even spacing for the gears to smoothly revolve the central sun gear. As the input is fed to the sun gear, the gears include planetary gears and the carrier which works with the output flange shaft spin on the axes. Since the number of gear teeth among these gears are different, the speed reduction can be completed reliably and efficiently to generate correct output. 

The amount of torque is the key to determine the jobs of the flange planetary gearbox. Since the flange planetary gearbox can absorb all the radial and axial force and create large torque to resist numerous physical factors of the fixed mechanisms in the machines, it is important for the mechanists to calculate the proper torque before applying the gearbox to take the full advantages of the device. Some physical factors should be taken into account when calculating the torques including friction, resistance, gravity, inertia and many more factors affecting the performance of the motions. 

● Lubrication:

Although the flange design and the planetary gear mechanism is efficient and convenient for motion control applications, the lubrication of the rolling and sliding surfaces still rely on proper lubrication within the compact structure. Modern gearbox manufacturers upgrade the lubricating system to a lifetime, built-in form. The lubricants typically used in planetary gearboxes are oil, grease, or synthetic gel. 

With the lubrication, the operation can be quiet and also be cooled down easily. One disadvantage of using the planetary gearbox is the challenging heat dissipation. The compact design makes the device more difficult to dissipate the heat especially when consistently working at a high speed. Therefore, lubrication oils are essential within the compact configuration of the flange planetary gearbox.

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