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Planetary gearboxes: the perfect choice for winches

12 September 2011

The compact nature, high load and torque capacity of the planetary gearbox – not to mention its high efficiency – have made it a very attractive option for winch manufacturers

The range of bevel helical and parallel helical gearboxes are available with ratios from 1.12:1 to 800:1, and powers from 0,8kw to2,000kw. output torque capacities of up to 692kNm and input power from 0.72 to 9,308kW. Output shaft formats include single and double solid shaft-keyed, splined and hollow shaft versions, and gearbox casings are available as standard in both cast iron and steel. The gearboxes can also be supplied to meet ATEX specifications, if required.

The industrial planetary gearbox range offers a wide choice in terms of torque capacity, plus innovative casings and output configurations, including foot mounted, flange mounted , in-line or right-angle. Novel options for shaft mounted gearboxes include shrink disc and female keyed shaft versions. High radial load capacity versions of each gearbox torque size are manufactured for applications like winches and slew drives. Jon Snaith again:

“We have three versions of the right-angle planetary gearbox – the conventional planetary gears with spiral bevel; planetary gears with bevel helical, and planetary gears with a worm/wheel input. All these options allow the best selection to be made for the application at hand and give the OEM customer complete peace of mind.”

For winch manufacturers, GSM has supplied compact planetary gearboxes that fit inside the winch drum itself to provide the necessary torque and speed as required by the designated line pull. Indeed, the planetary gearbox is an ideal choice for winch manufacturers as it offers so much flexibility in terms of design freedom. Moreover, the modular nature of GSM planetary gearboxes means that there is a wide choice of ratios to cover virtually all application needs; currently, these extend from 3:1 all the way up to 15,000:1.

The compact nature of these GSM planetary gearboxes is another attractive feature for OEMs. This is made possible because the torque is transmitted from the sun-pinion to the planet carrier via three and sometimes up to five points of contact with the planet gears – all encompassed within a planet ring.

Each planet gear is mounted on needle roller bearings, which contribute towards making these gearboxes highly efficient. Typically, planetary gearboxes can be as much as 98% efficient per stage of reduction, and on a three-stage reduction the ratio achieved can be approximately 350:1 while still maintaining 94% efficiency.

The planetary gearbox also employs the use of taper roller bearings at the low speed output shaft. These have sufficient capacity to cater for the high radial loads associated with winch applications.

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