Machine Design

Gearhead runs cool all day at full speed

A high-speed gearhead capable of continuous operation to 4,500 rpm helps a maker of box-printing presses meet the short-run requirements of its European customers.

SP Series High-Speed gearheads from Alpha Gear Drives Inc., Elk Grove, Ill., are intended for dynamic and continuous high-speed operation encountered in areas such as printing, packaging, and paper converting. The SP's planetary geartrain is over 97% efficient under full load, which helps the unit remain cooler and run maintenance-free for 20,000 hr or more.

Press builder Langston Corp., Cherry Hill, N.J., switched to the SP Series when the original gearheads failed after only two month's service. The gearheads hook to servomotors that drive print cylinders on a 50-in., quick-change, box-printing machine. The servodrives eliminate complex geartrains that can hinder changeovers between jobs.

"Quick changeovers are key for our European customers who routinely run orders of only 200 boxes," explains Al Patragnoni, a project engineer at Langston. "The Alpha gearheads also let the machines run faster which helps make these short runs feasible."

SP140 High-Speed gearheads from Alpha Gear Drives couple to servomotors that drive print cylinders on this 50-in. box-printing machine. The gearheads come in one and two-stage models in gear ratios ranging from 4:1 to 100:1. Single stage versions are over 97% efficient, and two-stage designs, over 94%.
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