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Performance Factors to Consider when Selecting Gear Motors

December 28, 2018

Just as there are different types of gear motors, there are also variations on standard and specialized gear arrangements based on the specificity of the application it is intended for. One example is the harmonic drive – which is a precise speed reduction system. It works to transmit power through a rotating elliptical mechanism that engages an internal gear. This type of power transmission offers a more accurate angular position even in applications with very high input to output ratio.


The following are additional performance specifications to consider when choosing a gear motor:


  • Reduction ratio - Also known as the gear ratio – the reduction ratio refers to the velocity of the input gear to that of the output gear. A ratio that is equal to less than one indicates a speed increase, while a greater than one ratio indicated a speed reduction. The reduction ratio of directly proportional.
  • Efficiency – this is typically specified as part of the specifications list indicated in the overall performance. It is presented as a percentage of torque that is transmitted through a gearbox – it factors any loss which could occur due to slippage and friction within the gearbox
  • Torque – torque is produced by the motor to handle the required load. Starting torque is the torque that occurs during the startup, and continuous torque is what occurs while the motor is continuously running.
  • Backlash – backlash is a pivotal factor in defining accuracy and positioning. While backlash is not significant for applications without a load reverse-operation, it is crucial where load reversals occur in gear motors


The majority of gear motors are AC-powered with fixed-speed motors. However, there are also a number of variable-speed motors that offer a higher degree of control. Such motors are typically used for automotive applications, such as windshield wiper motors, power winches (on trucks) and power window motors. They are also used in lifts, robotics, conveyors, and cranes – showcasing how useful they are in assisting with everyday life within these industries.