Simply put, a gear motor is an electric motor coupled with a gearbox. In most cases, the addition of a gearbox is intended to limit the speed of the motor’s shaft and increase the motor’s output torque.
Gears transform shaft speed and torque at specific ratios, with minimum efficiency losses, which makes it possible to create the ideal output speed and torque with the addition of an appropriately sized and configured gearbox. Gear motors use either AC (alternating current) or DC (direct current) power depending on the type of electric motor coupled to the gearbox.
What Are the Different Gear Motor Types?
The two most common gear motor types are right-angle gear motors that use worm, bevel, or hypoid gearing and inline gear motors, which typically use spur gears or planetary gear sets. Worm, spur, and planetary gear technology is most frequently used in many gearmotor designs. Gear motors can be purchased with a variety of AC or DC motor types and are available in many reduction ratios to accommodate a vast number of applications such as automatic door operators, food & beverage equipment, and robotics.
How are Gear Motors Used?
Gear motors are used in applications that require high torque output at lower shaft speeds, which encompasses a wide range of applications and scenarios. Gear motors power many common applications, such as patient mobility equipment, precision agricultural planting solutions, conveyor drives, frozen beverage equipment, and medical tools.
What Applications DO NOT Use Gear Motors?
Because of the widespread use of electric gear motors, it is easier to explore applications where they ARE NOT used. Any application that requires high shaft speed, such as fans, pumps, and engine starters, will not benefit from the use of a gear motor, since gear motors reduce speed in favor of higher torque.