What constitutes a small power gear motor? Generally anything below one horsepower is considered a small power gear motor, or more generically referred to as fractional horsepower (FHP) gear motor. Very small sub-fractional gear motors are also prevalent but for the purposes of this article we will focus in on gear motors greater than 1/8HP. These fractional HP gear motors make up the majority of applications in industry. They can be used on conveyors, packaging machinery, automation equipment, material handling systems just to name a few, but their uses are innumerable.
What sort of things should an engineer look for in selecting a FHP gear motor? Should the decision be solely based on price? The pressure is there to use the lowest cost gear motor, however, this may include poor quality castings, questionable materials for shafts, gears and bearings, second rate motor windings with low grade insulation. Sure the price is tempting but at what ultimate cost? If you’re constantly dealing with warranty issues from premature failures what did you gain. Higher quality may seem more costly but not when one includes warranty, down time, repair and maintenance time. So, how will you know if the quality is there? Try asking these questions of your supplier…
What grade of material are they using for shafts?
What overhung load rating do they have?
Are the bearings heavy-duty ball type, cheap needle or sleeve bearings?
What quality class are the gears produced to?
What noise level do they run at? Are the gear housings pressure cast?
Are the motors made with quality windings using class F insulation?
What enclosure or ingress protection do the motors employ?
Are they waterproof and dust proof?
Can they motors have spring applied brakes or encoders added?
Can they provide you with custom features like special shafts, materials or paint finishes?
VL Motion Systems provides high quality gear motors in inline and right angle configurations with superior electric motors for single, three phase and DC supplies. Our motors come with standard class F insulation and are inverter friendly, available with spring applied brakes or encoders for fine positioning.
Generously dimensioned ball or roller bearings, case hardened forged and ground gears, and internally and externally reinforced gearboxes ensure a long, low maintenance service life. Superior ingress protection of IP65 according to IEC 529 assures that the motor is dust tight and hose proof, and can be used outdoors or in wet and dusty environments without the use of additional enclosures. Corrosion protection is available in three levels ensuring our gear motors will survive even the toughest environments.
Check out our online selection program to help you through the process or to download a 3D model for insertion into your machine design. You can also call our toll free number 1-866-267-8077 and ask for engineering support. We’d be glad to review your horsepower calculations and make suggestions as to the best gear motor solution for your application.