Inline gear reducers are used in a system with other components in order to decrease the incoming speed and power so that the parts that follow are able to handle the power and operate effectively.
Inline gear reducers are related to gear boxes, gear drives and reduction gears. Most are made of strong but lightweight steel and are able to handle heavy loads and transmission torque. They must be carefully selected based on weight, size and the characteristics of the larger system and the input that it will be receiving. The ratio of the input speed to the reduced output speed is called the reduction ratio and is another important factor to be taken into consideration when selecting a gear reducer.
Inline gear reducers are widely used in metallurgy equipment, robotics, automotives (specifically the transmission) and other machinery-related applications to reduce the power, keep the size of machines and equipment lines to a minimum and to handle heavy shock loads. Inline gear reducers consist of a series of gears and bearings in a heavy duty enclosure. Aligned and lubricated input and output shafts protrude from either end.
A motor attached to the input shaft causes it to rotate at a certain speed and a series of reduction gears lower the rotations per minute to slow the rotational speed. The diameter and circumference of the gears varies depending on reduction ratio. An input shaft rotates a gear that turns a larger gear. Because of the increased circumference, the second gear requires more time to rotate the full distance and does not turn as quickly as the small first gear. Multiple gears may be connected in series and the output shaft is attached to the final gear to deliver the desired speed reduction.
Reduction ratios usually range from 5:1 to 200:1 though higher performance speed reducers are available. If the gear reducer is directly mounted on a motor then it is deemed a gearhead; if it is coupled with the shaft and mounted elsewhere it is called a gear box. Shaft mounted units are also available. Inline gear reducers may be combined with other reducers to meet specific requirements and they are available in different styles to accommodate a variety of mountings and setups.