Sometimes old things are made new. New inventions replace old ways of doing things. The horse, for example, as a way of performing work, has been replaced in much of the world by the electric motor. Of course, that requires electricity and a motor. For emerging economies, none of that infrastructure may exist.
In the industrialized world, the rate of change in available technology has changed dramatically in a short period of time. The CRT display used for decades to entertain, and to display information, has given way to the flat screen. Any of you still own a “tube” television at home? Didn’t think so.
The cassette tape is all but extinct, and so is the floppy drive. Remember 5 1/4″ floppies disk media in paper jackets? Good luck finding a drive to read it.
Sometimes designs get updated. It opens opportunities to reconsider the value of old, so called “low tech” solutions. This is certainly the case in the mechatronics world of gear reduction. Most electric motors are high speed in order to package a lot of work in a small machine. Gear reducers are vital to many applications where the load requirement is low rpm.
In a recent application, a right angle reducer had some advantages instead of putting the motor in line with the load. I remembered using worm and spur reducers in the past, but with poor efficiency and a lot of backlash. More recently I had read about a new version of the worm and spur called a double enveloping worm & spur. In this new configuration the gear set was able to achieve high accuracy for servo applications. But I didn’t have any experience with them or specifications to use for comparison.
I contacted the folks a Peerless Winsmith and got a complete update. The double enveloping worm and spur system is still around, but like many things in the servo world, very expensive. They are extremely accurate and power dense, taking up very little volume to transmit a lot of power.
The double enveloping design also has a single enveloping design, the SE ENcore series, which incorporates some Patented improvements to the traditional worm and spur set. The improved geometry results in a worm and spur set that has 20 arc minutes of backlash and a range of ratios from 4:1 to 100:1 in single reducer gearboxes. These gearboxes represent solid solutions for a lot of applications where a planetary reducer is too expensive or a right angle solution offers packaging advantages.
Check them out on line at www.winsmith.com