Cycloidal gearboxes
Cycloidal gearboxes or reducers consist of four fundamental components: a high-speed input shaft, an individual or substance cycloidal cam, cam followers or rollers, and a slow-speed output shaft. The input shaft attaches to an eccentric drive member that induces eccentric rotation of the cycloidal cam. In compound reducers, the first track of the cycloidal cam lobes engages cam fans in the housing. Cylindrical cam followers act as teeth on the internal gear, and the number of cam followers exceeds the number of cam lobes. The next track of substance cam lobes engages with cam followers on the output shaft and transforms the cam’s eccentric rotation into concentric rotation of the result shaft, thus increasing torque and reducing acceleration.

Compound cycloidal gearboxes offer ratios ranging from only 10:1 to 300:1 without stacking stages, as in regular planetary gearboxes. The gearbox’s compound reduction and can be calculated using:

where nhsg = the number of followers or rollers in the fixed housing and nops = the number for followers or rollers in the slow acceleration output shaft (flange).

There are several commercial variations of cycloidal reducers. And unlike planetary gearboxes where variations are based on gear geometry, heat therapy, and finishing procedures, cycloidal variations share simple design principles but generate cycloidal motion in different ways.
Planetary gearboxes
Planetary gearboxes are made up of three fundamental force-transmitting elements: a sun gear, three or even more satellite or planet gears, and an internal ring gear. In an average gearbox, the sun equipment attaches to the input shaft, which is connected to the servomotor. Sunlight gear transmits electric motor rotation to the satellites which, subsequently, rotate within the stationary ring gear. The ring gear is part of the gearbox housing. Satellite gears rotate on rigid shafts connected to the planet carrier and cause the earth carrier to rotate and, thus, turn the output shaft. The gearbox gives the output shaft higher torque and lower rpm.

Planetary gearboxes generally have single or two-gear stages for reduction ratios ranging from 3:1 to 100:1. A third stage could be added for even higher ratios, nonetheless it is not common.

The ratio of a planetary gearbox is calculated using the next formula:where nring = the number of teeth in the internal ring gear and nsun = the amount of teeth in the pinion (input) gear.
Comparing the two
When deciding between cycloidal and planetary gearboxes, engineers should first consider the precision needed in the application. If backlash and positioning precision are crucial, then cycloidal gearboxes offer the best choice. Removing backlash can also help the servomotor manage high-cycle, high-frequency moves.

Following, consider the ratio. Engineers can do this by optimizing the reflected load/gearbox inertia and acceleration for the servomotor. In ratios from 3:1 to 100:1, planetary gearboxes provide greatest torque density, weight, and precision. Actually, not many cycloidal reducers offer ratios below 30:1. In ratios from 11:1 to 100:1, planetary or cycloidal reducers can be used. However, if the required ratio goes beyond 100:1, cycloidal gearboxes keep advantages because stacking phases is unnecessary, therefore the gearbox could be shorter and less costly.
Finally, consider size. Many manufacturers provide square-framed planetary gearboxes that mate precisely with servomotors. But planetary gearboxes grow in length from solitary to two and three-stage styles as needed equipment ratios go from less than 10:1 to between 11:1 and 100:1, and then to greater than 100:1, respectively.

Conversely, cycloidal reducers are bigger in diameter for the same torque yet are not for as long. The compound decrease cycloidal gear train handles all ratios within the same bundle size, so higher-ratio cycloidal equipment boxes become actually shorter than planetary variations with the same ratios.

Backlash, ratio, and size provide engineers with an initial gearbox selection. But deciding on the best gearbox also entails bearing capacity, torsional stiffness, shock loads, environmental conditions, duty cycle, and life.

From a mechanical perspective, gearboxes have grown to be somewhat of accessories to servomotors. For gearboxes to perform properly and provide engineers with a balance of performance, existence, and worth, sizing and selection should be determined from the strain side back to the motor as opposed to the motor out.

Both cycloidal and planetary reducers work in virtually any industry that uses servos or stepper motors. And although both are epicyclical reducers, the distinctions between many planetary gearboxes stem more from equipment geometry and manufacturing procedures instead of principles of procedure. But cycloidal reducers are more varied and share little in common with each other. There are advantages in each and engineers should think about the strengths and weaknesses when selecting one over the other.

Great things about planetary gearboxes
• High torque density
• Load distribution and sharing between planet gears
• Smooth operation
• High efficiency
• Low input inertia
• Low backlash
• Low cost

Great things about cycloidal gearboxes
• Zero or very-low backlash stays relatively constant during existence of the application
• Rolling rather than sliding contact
• Low wear
• Shock-load capacity
• Torsional stiffness
• Flat, pancake design
• Ratios exceeding 200:1 in a concise size
• Quiet operation
The necessity for gearboxes
There are three basic reasons to use a gearbox:

Inertia matching. The most typical reason for choosing the gearbox is to control inertia in highly powerful situations. Servomotors can only control up to 10 times their own inertia. But if response time is critical, the engine should control significantly less than four times its own inertia.

Speed reduction, Servomotors run more efficiently at higher speeds. Gearboxes help to keep motors operating at their optimum speeds.

Torque magnification. Gearboxes provide mechanical advantage by not merely decreasing speed but also increasing output torque.

The EP 3000 and our related products that utilize cycloidal gearing technology deliver the most Cycloidal gearbox robust solution in the most compact footprint. The main power train is made up of an eccentric roller bearing that drives a wheel around a couple of inner pins, keeping the decrease high and the rotational inertia low. The wheel includes a curved tooth profile rather than the more traditional involute tooth profile, which eliminates shear forces at any stage of contact. This design introduces compression forces, rather than those shear forces that would can be found with an involute equipment mesh. That provides several functionality benefits such as high shock load capability (>500% of rating), minimal friction and wear, lower mechanical service elements, among numerous others. The cycloidal design also has a huge output shaft bearing period, which provides exceptional overhung load capabilities without requiring any extra expensive components.

Cycloidal advantages over various other styles of gearing;

Able to handle larger “shock” loads (>500%) of rating compared to worm, helical, etc.
High reduction ratios and torque density in a concise dimensional footprint
Exceptional “built-in” overhung load carrying capability
High efficiency (>95%) per reduction stage
Minimal reflected inertia to engine for longer service life
Just ridiculously rugged because all get-out
The entire EP design proves to be extremely durable, and it needs minimal maintenance following installation. The EP may be the most reliable reducer in the commercial marketplace, and it is a perfect suit for applications in large industry such as for example oil & gas, primary and secondary steel processing, commercial food production, metal reducing and forming machinery, wastewater treatment, extrusion products, among others.