Monday, July 18, 2016

What are bellows couplings?

A bellows coupling is a type of coupling design which consists of a thin walled, flexible corrugation (bellows) that is connected between two clamping hubs.  They are traditionally used for servo motion control applications that have high positioning accuracy, speed, and torque requirements.

Cross Section View of Bellows Coupling

What makes bellows couplings unique?
Bellows couplings are unique because of the construction of the bellows which can flex and compensate for minor shaft misalignments (axial, lateral, radial), while still providing a zero backlash and torsionally rigid connection.  They are a unique blend of rigidity and flexibility.

How to specify bellows couplings
To specify a bellows coupling, the first parameters we typically look at are the torque and connecting shaft sizes which will help to give a general sense of the coupling size.  The nominal torque rating (continuous torque transmission)  of the coupling should be greater than the peak torque of the application to ensure a secure connection.  We then check the connecting shaft sizes which  must also be within the acceptable range of the coupling.  If the shaft diameter is smaller than the specified range on the coupling, the torque transmission value of the coupling can decrease.  From there, we check other application specific parameters which include the speed, shaft alignment, temperature, and drive resonance.  We need to make sure they are within the coupling specifications, if not, we look to apply a safety factor when applicable; otherwise we select a different coupling size, or design. 

Bellows couplings applications examples
When introduced, bellows couplings were first widely accepted in the Machine Tool industry for spindle drives.  Since then usage has expanded to a vast number of industries including Automotive, General Automation & Assembly, Material Handling, Medical, Packaging, Robotics, to name a few.

For more information about couplings, visit

Monday, March 21, 2016

GAM Introduces the SPH Flange Gearbox

SPH Flange Gearbox

GAM, a manufacturer of high precision gear reducers, servo couplings, and linear mounting kits, introduces the SPH Flange planetary gearbox.

The SPH Flange (SPH-F) is the first high performance inline flange gearbox from GAM.  Based around high precision helical gear technology, the SPH Flange is produced to the elevated standard of quality and reliability customers have come to expect from GAM’s SPH product line.  The helical gears are precision cut and ground for extremely quiet and smooth torque transmission with a standard backlash rating of <3 arcmin for single stage ratios.  For applications that require more precision, the gearbox can assembled for further reduced backlash at <1 arcmin.

“We are excited to launch the SPH-F as it is the first high precision inline flange gearbox in our product offering,” said Mike Parzych, Product Marketing Manager at GAM. “We’ve already had some great customer successes with the product and are looking forward to further market acceptance.”

The compact SPH-F gearbox can be used when space is limited and the ISO 9409 compatible output flange allows for easy mounting of machine elements such as pinions, pulleys, or other adapters.  To accommodate direct connection to machines, the SPH-F has strong taper roller bearings set at a wide distance and a fully supported planet carrier for high load carrying capacity.  The ring gear is machined directly into a single piece steel housing for improved torsional rigidity.  Currently offered in three frame sizes, the SPH-F is rated for up to 450Nm nominal and 675Nm acceleration torque in the largest size.

Please visit for more information on the SPH-F including fully configurable CAD models.


A PDF of the Press Release - GAM Introduces the SPH Flange Gearbox

About GAM
GAM is your complete source for Gear Reducers, Servo Couplings, Linear Mounting Kits, and other innovative products used in automation technology. With one of the largest product offerings in the motion control industry as well as the engineering expertise and capabilities to develop customized solutions, GAM can help with your application.  Being flexible to meet the needs of customer requests and great service are what set them apart from the rest.  For more information visit:  GAM is also on Twitter!/GAM_Gear and Facebook