Speed Reducer

What is a speed reducer?

A speed reducer, also known as a gear reducer, is a motion control device, which is connected to the motor and the machinery, and works as the medium for the transferring of speed and torque from the motor to the machinery of the applied device.

When it comes to the operation of the machinery on a device, the speed and the torque matter in the good or bad performance of the machinery. In addition to other factors that make the motion transmission don't work as smoothly as the requirement, such as the wrong size of the motor, the inappropriate control of the motion should take parts of the responsibility.

In order to deal with this problem, the manufacturers would usually adopt the transmissions or the speed reducers, as they are both available for the regulation of the machinery motion. Among these two types of motion control devices, the speed reducers are capable of retaining the motion with constant speed, which allows for the stabilization of the connected machinery.

The practical device, speed reducer, consists of several gears that are secured in the gearbox. Through the interaction between the teeth of the adjacent gears, which may come in many different forms, the motion is transferred from the motor to the machinery. At the same time, the speed of the motion is decelerated, while the torque is inversely increased, which improves the performance of the output and benefits the operation of the machinery accordingly.

Speed reducers vs. transmissions

As the above introduction has mentioned, both the speed reducers and the transmissions are applied to reduce the speed that is transferred from the motor to the machinery. Since the power source for both of them is from the motor, the inputs are the same between them.

Comparing the some parameters, including the purpose, the working principle, and the output performance, which explain how these two types of motion control devices work, there are some similarities and slight differences between them.    

● Purpose
Both the speed reducers and the transmissions are dedicated to regulate the speed that is transferred from the motor to the machinery, especially for the same purpose of reducing the speed.

● Working principle
The transmission of the motion, either by the speed reducers or the transmissions, is dependent on the rotational working orientation of the components on these devices. For the rotational working orientation, the speed and torque is interrelated to each other. 

In other words, when the speed is increased, the torque would be decreased. In contrast, as the speed is decelerated, the torque would be increased. Therefore, the working principle is the same between the speed reducers and the transmissions.

● Output performance
The output performance refers to how the machinery that applied either the speed reducers or the transmission works, while the time when the speed reducers or the transmissions are in use is actually different.

When it is required to reduce and remain the constant speed, the former would be applied. However, if what the machinery needs is not only to reduce but sometimes to increase the speed, the latter would be the better choice.

What types of speed reducers are there?

Planetary reducers
The planetary reducers utilize the coaxial gearboxes to work, which results in the compact size and the efficient work of the reducers. Due to the coaxial design, the manufacturing of the planetary reducers would be relatively complex and the prices would be higher as well.

● Worm reducers
Unlike the planetary reducers, the input shaft and output shaft in the worm reducers are perpendicular to each other. These reducers would not vibrate during operation, which leads to less noise to be produced. In addition, the worm type of reducers would be less expensive than the planetary type.

● Bevel reducers
The bevel reducers are designed robust enough to handle a lot of power, which makes them to perform with high efficiency, but still lower than the planetary reducers. These reducers are quiet during operation as the worm reducers, while they are the more expensive choices compared to the worm reducers.

What are the benefits of using a speed reducer?

Reduces speed
When the motion is transferred directly from the motor to the machinery, the speed would be out of control, which may damage the components of the device and shorten the lifespan of the entire device.

However, if a speed reducer is adopted in between, it is able to effectively reduce the working speed of the machinery, and thus prevent the problems that are mentioned above from happening.

● Increases torque
Take the automobile, which is the common application of the speed reducer, for example. The optimal performance of an automobile should be strong running torque with regulated speed. Therefore, in addition to reducing the speed, the speed reducer can also increase the torque, which makes the best performance of the applied devices.

● Facilitates smooth motion transmission
With the adoption of the speed reducer, the speed is reduced and the torque is increased, these two main elements become coordinated, and thus facilitate the smooth motion transmission from the motor to the machinery.

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