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Gear Motor Safety Considerations 101

April 25, 2023

A gear motor drive, also known as a gearbox or gear reducer, is a device that converts the high-speed rotation of an electric motor into slower and more powerful output torque. It works by using gears to increase the amount of torque produced by the motor while reducing its speed. While they are hardwired to work around the clock, safety should be at the top of your priority list. 

Gear motors are essential components that power many machines and mechanisms, but they can also fail unexpectedly if not properly maintained or used. In this blog post, we will discuss some common causes of gear motor failure and how to deal with them to ensure safe operation.

Common causes of gear motor failure and how to deal with them

1. Extreme radial load

Cause: This occurs when there is an excessive force pushing or pulling on the motor shaft from a perpendicular direction. This type of load can happen in several situations, including when heavy loads are being lifted or moved horizontally. The weight and momentum put stress on the gears and bearings within the motor, which can lead to premature wear and tear.

Solution: To prevent the extreme radial load from causing damage to your gear motor drive, it's essential to ensure that you're using the correct size and type of motor for your application. Additionally, proper alignment during installation is crucial to distributing any external forces evenly across all components.

2. Excessive acceleration/deacceleration

Cause: Excessive acceleration and deacceleration are common culprits of gear motor failure. Rapid changes in speed can cause excessive wear on the gears, leading to premature failure. This is particularly true when starting or stopping a heavy load.

Solution: One solution to this problem is to use a soft starter or variable frequency drive (VFD) to gradually ramp up the speed of the motor. This reduces stress on the gears and prolongs their lifespan. Using gearing with a higher reduction ratio is also recommended.

3. Harsh environment

Cause: Factors like extreme temperatures, moisture, dust and debris can cause a gear motor drive failure. Such factors can cause damage to the motor's internal parts or lead to corrosion and rust.

Solution: To protect your gear motor drive from a harsh environment, it is important to choose an appropriate enclosure that matches the level of protection you require.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure the longevity of your gear motor drive. Speak to us about Bauer GMC to understand all about gear reducers. We boast immense experience in providing high-quality motors to our clients.