Posted by: Sarah Prais | March 22, 2016

Custom Gearmotors Solve AGV Challenge

Bodine-BLDC-gearmotors_AGV-article_03-22-2016

Large distribution warehouses operated by wholesalers,  retailers, or large manufacturers have turned to Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) to keep up with ever-increasing demand for faster and more economical deliveries. A major original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for AGVs contacted Bodine Electric Company to help develop two new custom gearmotors for their latest AGV. Bodine has since built, tested and shipped over 50,000 gearmotors to this customer.

 

The Challenge Bodine-Gearmotor-AGVs-Application-Insights

The OEM’s specifications required two gearmotors, one of them had to lift up to 1,000 lbs (with substantial peak loads). The AGV’s chassis had already been finalized, and left only limited space for the new gearmotors. The gearmotors were required to operate almost continuously for five years, under worst-case environmental conditions, and would be subjected to extreme vibration and shock.

The Result

Almost every part of these new gearmotors was engineered to match the customer’s extensive list of requirements.

  • Low-voltage brushless DC motors paired with all-new, highly efficient gearboxes prolong the AGV battery life and minimize downtime
  • Gearbox designed to simplify the assembly process of the AGV
  • Custom output shaft assembly designed for extremely heavy loads
  • Feedback device tracked the position of the drive shaft
  • 1024 PPR encoder provided servo feedback to control the gearmotors
  • “Military Style” plug and screw connections
  • Temperature sensors monitor gearmotor performance and to prevent overloads
  • Manual over-ride in the event of a power failure

Bodine-Gearmotor-Custom-Type-GearmotorWith Bodine’s help, these sophisticated robotic vehicles have been performing flawlessly all over the world. Bodine not only developed two entirely new gearmotors for the application, they also helped navigate the difficult third-party approval process. Bodine engineers extensive experience in motion control made them an ideal partner in the development of this new product, which in turn is making warehouse jobs easier, more productive, and cost-efficient.

 

 

 

Bodine Electric engineers bring over 110 years of application engineering and problem solving experience to a wide range of applications in industries as diverse as medical, packaging, industrial automation, and solar powered outdoors equipment. We look forward to working with you on your next FHP gearmotor design challenge.

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Copyright Bodine Electric Company © 03/2016. All rights reserved.

Posted by: Sarah Prais | March 7, 2016

Choosing the Right Gearmotor for Your Application

Bodine-Gearmotor-Typical-Gearmotor-Construction

What is a gearmotor?

A gearmotor consists of a small motor designed specifically with an integrated gear reducer (gearhead). The end shield on the drive end of the motor provides a dual function. The side facing the motor provides the armature/rotor bearing support and a sealing provision through which the integral rotor or armature shaft pinion passes. The other side provides multiple bearing supports for the gearing itself and a sealing and fastening provision for the gearhousing. This construction eliminates the guess work of sizing a motor and gear reducer separately.

Why use gearmotors?

Gearmotors offer advantages over separate motor and reducer combinations. The gearhead acts as a torque multiplier, allowing a small motor to generate higher torque. Integral pinions that are ground or hobbed on the armature or rotor shaft reduce noise. And shared castings result in fewer parts and “near perfect” alignment of the rotor pinion and gear train. There is a minimum risk for lubricant leakage because of “O-ring” and lip seal construction, and the compact design provides better lubrication control for various mounting configurations. Gearmotors also eliminate the need for motor/gearhead couplings, and eliminate possible bearing misalignments.

Bodine-Gearmotor-Parallel Shaft

What are the features and benefits of various types of gearing?

Parallel shaft: “Parallel shaft” refers to gear trains where the axis of the gear shaft is parallel to the motor shaft axis. They usually employ spur and/or helical gearing. Spur gearing is easier to manufacture and less expensive than helical gears. However, because of the greater overlapping or “load-sharing,” the transmission of power is usually smoother and quieter with helical than with spur gearing.

Bodine-Gearmotor-Right-Angle

Right Angle: In right angle gear trains, the axis of the output shaft is 90 degrees to the motor shaft axis. Right angle gearmotors are used frequently in applications where space restricts the use of parallel shaft gearmotor of comparable torque. Worm gearing is the most common gear type used in this kind of gearmotor. Worm gearing can be self-locking; meaning the friction torque to the output shaft prohibits the gearbox to drive backwards. Worm gears have higher resistance to shock loads compared with spur and helical gears. In addition, the sliding tooth action of worm gears offers minimal noise. However, they are more difficult to lubricate and less efficient.

Bodine-Gearmotor-Planetary

Planetary (center shaft): A Planetary gearhead is comprised of a sun gear, a ring gear, and a planet carrier assembly that uses three to five planet gears. The sun gear is generally the motor pinion, and the ring gear is the housing. The planet gears share the load, revolving around the sun gear. The output shaft typically attaches to the planet carrier of the output stage. A key benefit of planetary gearmotors is their compact size and high torque density. They provide up to twice the torque of a same-size parallel shaft gearmotor. Coaxial center shaft arrangements eliminate any output shaft offset for easier installation.

What types of motors are commonly available?

AC Induction Motors: In an AC induction motor or gearmotor, the stator winding sets up a magnetic field, which reacts with the current-carrying conductors of the rotor to produce rotational torque. The essential operating characteristics of AC induction motors and gearmotors will vary according to:

  1. Winding types (split-phase, capacitor run, shaded-pole, three-phase, etc.)
  2. Number of poles and phases, the line frequency, and the voltage of the power source

Permanent Magnet DC Motors: PMDC motors generate torque directly from DC power through internal commutation, stationary magnets and a rotating armature. They use carbon brushes that press against a commutator attached to the armature. As the armature turns, the brushes create contact with different segments of the commutator changing the current path through the winding. The rotation of the armature is a result of the interaction between the magnetic field from the armature and the stationary permanent magnet field.

Brushless DC Motors: BLDC speed-torque curves are very similar to those of PMDC motors. However, the magnets on BLDC motors rotate, and their windings are stationary. The other major construction difference is the means for switching winding phases on and off. Operation of a BLDC motor is similar to a PMDC motor except that the winding phases are switched on and off electronically by means of a control device. The control “knows” when to switch the windings because of feedback received from the rotor position Hall Effect sensors.

Bodine-FHP-Gearmotor-Solutions-2016

Copyright Bodine Electric Company © 03/2016. All rights reserved.

 

Posted by: Edmund Glueck | December 15, 2015

Happy Holidays!

Bodine Electric Co. Gearmotor Holiday Greetings 2015-2015

Posted by: Edmund Glueck | November 9, 2015

Bodine 24A and 42A Motors Successfully Pass UL’s IP-66 Test

Bodine IP-Ratings-UL-Test_per IEC-529 Bodine Electric GearmotorsOEM applications often require gearmotors and motors that exceed the design features of our standard products. But with over 110 years of design and application engineering experience with FHP motors and gearmotors, we can add and include special design features and modifications for those demanding OEM applications.

One such example is our recent approval by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) to mark and manufacture PMDC motors that meet IP-66 environmental protection requirements.

02-Bodine-MotorIP-66-UL-Test_42A1This UL approval is based on a specific set of modifications that each frame size must contain in order to comply with IP-66. In most cases, the design features include O-rings, liquid tight connectors, and sealing washers. We can also add design features such as stainless steel hardware and stainless steel motor and drive shafts. These types of modifications are available as custom features for most of our gearmotor and motor designs.

Bodine-Motor-IP-66-UL-Vacuum-Poweder-Test_24AThe IP rating matrix per IEC 60034-5 (and IEC-529) details a level of dust and water ingress permitted within the product, and its post-test functionality (see below table). Our IP-66 designs and ratings guarantees ZERO ingress of dust into the motor housing under a vacuum (negative pressure), and ZERO ingress of water from a high pressure water hose.

With the above mentioned design features incorporated into select PMDC products, the motors will be well suited for demanding applications, and ultimately guarantee the desired performance for the design life of the product. The features were designed to be as economical as possible, designed for “manufacturability”, and without major modifications to the exterior of the motors.

IP-Ratings per IEC-529 Bodine-Gearmotor-Handbook 11/2015

Copyright Bodine Electric Company © 11/2015. All rights reserved.

This video provides answers to questions like: What is a gearmotor? Why use FHP gearmotors? We talk about some of their main features and benefits, and we review the most common gearing and gearhead styles: parallel shaft, right angle, and planetary (center shaft) gearmotors. Tom closes with a brief review of the available types of motors that are commonly used: AC induction, permanent magnet DC, brushless DC.

 

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