Increasing Gear Reducer Efficiencies

Efficient energy utilization is impacted by the type and ratio of the gearing system applied, achieving both the requisite speed and rotating force (torque) necessary for the machinery using the system. By reviewing torque and efficiency ratings and selecting the correct size and type for your system, you can best utilize your energy dollars and improve returns on investment.

Helical Gearing

Also known as “in-line” gearing, helical gearing are available as small units, large units, single-stage, and multiple-stage. Helical gearing units are generally efficient, losing only about 2% of energy per stage of gearing, and are found in various applications. These units are configured in straight lines with input and output shafts either parallel or in the same plane.

Worm Gearing

A worm gear is an inclined plane wrapped around a shaft to create a helix. Using right-angle configuration, worm gearing reducers are available in a variety of sizes and ratios. It is important to note that for this particular type of gearing, ratio has a greater impact on efficiency than that of other gearing types. Single reduction, 5:1 ratio boxes can have efficiency ratings up to 98% while the same units with 60:1 ratios may only be 50% efficient. Worm gearing can also be combined into two and three-stage units with high ratios and torque ratings, but low efficiency ratings. Worm boxes can be inexpensive to purchase but expensive to operate, as efficiency can be lower.

Bevel Gearing

Also known as “miter” gearing, bevel gearing is similar in structure to worm gearing units, possessing right-angle configuration. These gearing units however, are more efficient, losing only a few percentage points per gearing stage. Additionally, bevel gearing units can be combined with helical gearing units to create high-ratio systems with high efficiencies. While this type of gearing system may be more expensive to purchase, higher efficiency ratings allow operating costs to be lower than those of worm boxes.

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Peter Maloney

Peter Maloney

Regional Manager, Environmental Health & Safety at Kaman Industrial Technologies
Peter has over 37 years in the distribution industry dealing with a wide variety of technologies and equipment, specializing in mechanical power transmission solutions. In his previous role as Manager of Assembly Shop Services, he was responsible for Kaman's assembly shops, which build and repair gearing, linear systems, lubrication systems and electric motors & controls.
Peter Maloney

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