Back to Newsroom

Gearhead Technologies and Innovations

June 8, 2022

Gearheads, which are also referred to as either gearboxes or gear motors, are popular accessories in the world of miniature motors. Providing either increased torque capabilities or speed reduction of the motor, gearheads are especially important to applications that require high torque at low speeds, where using a larger motor to achieve the desired torque would be both inefficient and uneconomical.

Exploring Gearhead Technologies

Mounted on the front end of the motor, the gearhead introduces a specific gearing between the motor and the load that provides the desired speed and output torque. Depending on the application’s requirements, metal or plastic gears are available, as are sleeve or ball bearing options. Customization opportunities also abound, including special shafts, lubricants, and mountings. Now let’s explore two types of gearhead technologies: planetary gearheads and spur gearheads.

  1. Planetary Gearheads. Planetary gearboxes operate with three or four transmission points per train and feature efficiency levels of 85% to 90%, including bearing losses. Delivering higher motor torque in a very compact package, these gearheads offer less shock in rapid motor rotation reversal cases, high reduction ratio per gear train, more rigid construction, and a higher per stage ratio (up to 7:1). The train’s input and output also have the same direction rotation as the motor. Planetary gearboxes are ideal for applications that prioritize high torque. 
  2. Spur Gearheads. Spur gearings have simply gear trains and are characterized by low friction torque and high-efficiency levels of 90% - 95% per gear train, including bearing losses. The diameter of these gearboxes is flexible, and there are options when it comes to motor placement relative to the output shaft; spur gearings also readily accommodate the mounting of items like sensors and potentiometers. The rotation direction can also differ from the motor’s rotation direction, depending on if an odd number of reduction stages are used. Spur gearboxes are well-suited for applications that prioritize higher torque capacity at lower ratio and higher efficiency as compared to planetary gearboxes.

planetary gearhead   spur gearhead

Planetary Gearhead (left); Spur Gearhead (right)

Looking for more information on gearheads? Dive Deeper in Gearhead Technologies Here

Coming Soon: R32HT and B16LN Gearheads

We’re excited to announce the launch of two new gearheads, the R32HT and B16LN, which will soon be joining our existing gearbox portfolio. The R32HT planetary high torque gearhead is full metallic and can be mounted onto our range of 35GLT range of brush DC motors. Featuring an outer diameter of 32mm and a max continuous torque up to 9Nm, it’s the perfect option for those needing a higher torque option between the existing R32 and R40 gearheads; the new bearing system also makes it ideal for applications that have higher radial loads. The B16LN is a sleeve bearing low noise spur gearhead that features a rated torque up to 100mNm and a smaller application footprint. Quieter than our standard B16 gearhead, it can also be directly integrated with our 16DCT, 16DCP, and 17DCT Athlonix brush DC motors.

Want to learn more about our upcoming gearheads? Reach out to us here!