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Tapered gears pose a servo challenge

01 August, 2004

Tapered gears pose a servo challenge

UK-based Ondrives is developing a compact tapered gear system which works in a similar way to a standard spur design and could provide a low-cost alternative to conventional servo gearheads.

By cutting the gear teeth with a taper of three degrees, the linear movement between the teeth is used to control backlash. A prototype has achieved an output backlash of just 6 arc-minutes, and commercial versions are expected to achieve 8 arc-minutes.

Ondrives is using specially adapted gear-cutting technology to produce the tapered profile. Commercial versions will use nitrided steel teeth for good wear resistance, and will have aluminium bodies. Standard ratios will be from 2:1 to 16:1, and the boxes will be suitable for shaft-to-shaft connections, or directly to motors using adaptor plates and couplings.

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