Gearboxes From Neugart Add Capability for Robots and Small Applications

November 28, 2023 by Shawn Dietrich

Neugart has released several new planetary gearbox designs, one series specially configured for delta robots and several new models for lightweight, compact economic applications.

In just about every industrial robot, you will find gearboxes attached to each joint, transmitting motion to carefully configure the rotation speed and power. Some gearboxes work as a gear reduction, sacrificing speed for torque, while others work in the opposite fashion to increase speed at the cost of driving torque. Neugart, which originated in Furtwangen, Germany, has been making gear components for mechanical equipment and office machines since 1928. Now, with headquarters in North Carolina, USA, Neugart is a global supplier of planetary gearboxes.


Neugart Planetary Gearboxes

Robots make use of gearboxes to reduce speed from servo motors and increase torque at each joint of the robot arm. These gear systems yield a very accurate and efficient conversion of electrical current into physical motion. Recently, Neugart has released several new gearbox models, one series for Delta robots and two new models with small frame sizes for lightweight, compact servos.


Variety of gearboxes for Delta robot linkages

Neugart’s new gearboxes are designed for delta robot applications. Image used courtesy of Neugart


Designed For Delta Robots

The NDF gearbox model series from Neugart is designed from the ground up specifically for delta robot applications. Based on the NGV planetary gearbox for AGVs, and the HLAE for hygienic applications, the NDF features a low-inertia clamping system, low backlash, and an output ratio of 5.5:1.

A delta robot consists of three arms shaped like a tripod, with a Z axis and commonly a rotation axis. These robots are known for their extremely high speed and positioning accuracy. These robots must make fast directional changes during applications, so the gearbox for each axis needs to support that function. The NDF gearboxes have a low-inertia clamping system at the input shaft which allows for rapid-quick directional changes.

Torsional backlash refers to the clearance between the meshing gears within the drive train, and there is no movement of the output while the drive train is traversing through the backlash of the system. The NDF design demands the lowest amount of clearance possible to ensure high precision even at full-rated speed.

The output of the gearbox is where the linkages attach, requiring special attention to accuracy as much as the input. A special radial shaft sealing ring is used to accommodate rapid directional changes, and a stainless steel or nickel-plated output shaft can be chosen for different applications. The NDF can also be ordered for food-grade applications that use NSF H1 lubricant.


Small, lightweight gearboxes

Two new models in the PLQE and PLFE gearbox series. Image courtesy of Neugart


PLQE and PLFE Economy Series Gearboxes

The PLQE and PLFE are Neugart’s response to the industry’s demand for economic, compact, and lightweight gearboxes. Neugart recently released two new frame sizes, the PLQE040 and the PLFE055.

The 040 frame size is the fourth frame size in the PLQE series. This model has an overall length of 90 mm, a centering collar diameter of 35 mm, and can transmit torques of up to 20 N-m.

The 055 frame size is also the fourth frame size in the series and has a flanged output. The 055 comes in 1 or 2-stage versions and gear ratios from i=3 to i=100. The centering collar has a 55 mm diameter and is rated for torques of up to 20 N-m, depending on the gear ratio chosen.


Motion for Servo Systems

These days, motion systems have no reason to rely on inaccurate power transmission components. The quality of manufacturing from companies like Neugart allows even the most common gearbox designs to achieve excellent levels of motion output for high-demand motion controls.