Friday, December 6, 2013

GAMMY Winner - December 2013

Steve received the GAMMY award for the month of December.  He is in charge of GAM's final assembly and inspection cell, making sure that everything is made exactly to the customer specification and is ready for packaging.  Over the last few months, GAM has been shipping more product than ever before (this includes the record shipping month in September).  Steve won the GAMMY for his display of Professionalism as he made sure that quality and consistency remained the highest priority.  Click for more information about GAM or our core values.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

GAMMY Winner - November 2013

Austin was awarded the GAMMY award for the month of November.  He is in charge of GAM's coupling cell and played a big role in helping GAM to hit a record shipping month in September and another great shipping month in October.  All along the way, he displayed great teamwork and professionalism.  For more information about GAM or our core values.

The GAMMY Award


The GAMMY is an award given out every month to the employee who best displays GAM’s core values.  While it may not be gold plated (yet), the GAMMY is crafted from high quality precision gearbox components.  The award is a way to recognize employees for their hard work and acts as a visual reminder of GAM’s core values.  What are GAM’s core values?

Teamwork, Action Oriented, Long-term Relationships, Professionalism and Fun

Teamwork:  We will be respectful and helpful to one another and be held accountable for our actions and our work. Great teams perform well when everyone is working together for the common good and genuine desire to help!

Action Oriented:  We are doers not talkers, meaning, “We walk the talk.” We take responsibility of a problem or opportunity to the end and not hand it off to another person until it is resolved. There is strong sense of urgency because solving problems quickly and accurately will prevail in the customer’s mind.

Long-term Relationships:  We are not interested in relationships that are short-lived. Relationships are the core to our business and trust is the foundation of our relationships. We will be true to our customers, our vendors and our employees. We strive for great friendship in these relationships because in the end we are here to enjoy one another and serve.

Professionalism: We are not just talking about our appearance when we are defining professionalism.  It‘s about being knowledgeable, learning to better oneself, truly listening to  others when they are talking, doing it right the first time (quality not quantity)and taking pride in the work you do.

Fun: We strive for a fun atmosphere at GAM. We know that with every business, there is pressure but we need to balance that pressure, with fun. We encourage activities that build friendships to know the “whole person” not just the “work person”.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

GAM can match your motor dimensions

gearbox motor dimensions GAM
Need a gearbox but can't change your mounting interface?  GAM can take a standard gearbox design and modify it so the output dimensions match those of your motor, making installation easy.  See what else GAM can do.

Monday, October 14, 2013

GAM is a Google Verified Supplier

GAM is proud to have become a Google Verified Supplier.  Google has recently launched a new platform called Google Shopping for Suppliers, which hopes to help connect consumers with the companies and products they are searching for.  Being a Google Verified Supplier will make it even easier for customers to get information on GAM products.
GAM Google Verified Supplier
View GAM gearboxes on Google Shopping for Suppliers

View GAM couplings on Google Shopping for Suppliers

Thomas Middle School Students Visit GAM

Students from nearby Thomas Middle School (Arlington Heights School District 25) came to GAM for a job shadow as a part of their Careers Connection class.  The Careers Connection class is a three part program designed to help prepare students for the work force by introducing career options as well as identifying their interests and strengths.  Students take surveys, participate in discussion groups, and then have an on-site job shadow experience. "We enjoy participating in this program with Thomas Middle School because we get to help students learn and get excited about engineering and manufacturing," said Craig Van den Avont, President of GAM, "It's extremely rewarding to know that GAM played a positive role in the lives of the next generation of engineers."

They started off watching a presentation to help them understand what engineers do, what products they design, and what problems they solve.

After the presentation, they were tasked with designing a part.

The part that they were to design was a spool to keep their headphone cables organized.

The students used calipers to check dimensions and to make sure the design would have the correct tolerances.

From there, they worked with engineering to take the design concept and then build a 3D model in Solidworks.

Once the design met their approval, it was sent to the 3D printer for prototype production.

In about an hour, they had a working prototype that they got to keep.   

Thursday, October 3, 2013

GAM Helps Feed My Starving Children

GAM employees volunteered time on October 1 to help out the Feed My Starving Children organization.  Feed My Starving Children strives to eliminate starvation by shipping meals to starving children in nearly 70 countries around the world.
GAM volunteers for Feed My Starving Children

The GAM team helped to fill and pack meals (called MannaPacks) that are specifically formulated for malnourished children.  MannaPacks are a nutritious mixture of vitamins, vegetables, soy (protein), and rice.  This food is easy and safe to transport, and very simple to make with boiling water.
Measuring Ingredients for MannaPacks

GAM was able to help pack around 60 boxes which is enough to feed 37 children for an entire year.  This particular shipment of food that GAM helped to pack is going to be delivered to children in Djibouti, Africa.  "We at GAM feel that giving back is very important, especially to those in need," said Gary Michalek, CEO of GAM, "Helping others become more successful is the reason why we exist."

For more information on Feed My Starving Children, visit

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Gearbox Design Helps to Prevent Motor Shaft Slippage

We've had many customers call us and ask for a gearbox with a keyed input because they've had motor slipping issues while using other manufacturers' gearboxes.  These other gearboxes have a set screw design to connect to the motor shaft.  Depending on the type of set screw used, the set screw either presses against or penetrates the motor shaft to generate the holding force.  While there can be many factors that can contribute to the motor shaft slipping, having the holding force come from a single point isn't an optimal design.  A better option than a set screw or keyed connection uses a radial clamping collar.  

Gearbox with radial clamping to prevent motor slippage

With this design, the radial clamping collar compresses the gearbox input shaft and evenly distributes the clamping force around the entire circumference of the motor shaft.  The gearbox input shaft is sliced in three locations to ensure a secure connection even if the motor shaft has a key slot with the key removed. 

Radial Clamping vs. Set Screw Clamping

GAM Radial Clamping vs. Set Screw Clamping

Not only does the radial clamping connection generate higher clamping forces, but it won't mar the motor shaft like a set screw connection can.  And due to the design of the radial clamping collar, the gearbox input shaft has a smaller diameter, resulting in a lower moment of inertia compared to a gearbox with a set screw input.

GAM Gearbox with radial clamping to prevent motor slippage
This radial clamping design comes standard on all GAM inline planetary gear reducers even including the low cost PE series.

For more information on GAM gear reducers 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

GAM Product Range in Design World's August "Around the Web"

GAM Gear Product Range

Did you get the August edition of Design World magazine?  GAM is on page 128 in the "Around the Web" section.  Use your smartphone and scan the QR code or click here for more information on our product range brochure.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

GAMMY Winner - August 2013

Congrats to Randy, our Sales Manager who was awarded the GAMMY award for the month of August.  Randy was the first GAM employee to receive the GAMMY award for fun.  Work is always filled with tasks and deadlines, but Randy always finds a way to crack a joke and keep things light in the office.  For more information about GAM or our core values.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Video Shoot at GAM

GAM Supports Cubs Charity and World Relief

GAM Supports Cubs Charity and World Relief Program

This past weekend, President Craig van den Avont  (left) and CEO Gary Michalek (right) of GAM, geared up and rode 100 miles in the Wrigley Field Road Tour 2013.  By riding in this event, they helped to raise money for the World Bicycle Relief program which is a non profit organization transforming individuals and their communities through the power of bicycles.

Learn more about the the Wrigley Field Road Tour or the World Bicycle Relief program.

Monday, August 12, 2013

GAMMY Winner - July 2013

Congrats to Dan, our Manufacturing Manager who was awarded the GAMMY for the month of July.  Dan received the award for his display of Teamwork as he not only had many projects for John (our engineering intern), but he made sure that John worked closely with the rest of the team in the production area. For more information about GAM or our core values.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What are the advantages of hypoid gearing?

Conventional spiral bevel gearing, meshing in the position shown at the bottom of the drawing, has a purely rolling meshing action that is mechanically very efficient. Its drawback is that it offers the smallest total tooth contact area, so its torque throughput capacity is lower. Single-stage spiral bevel gearing is limited to about a 6:1 reduction ratio.  It’s easy to get higher ratios with multiple-stage configurations, but the additional gear stage lowers mechanical efficiency, increases backlash, consumes space and weight and reduces reliability.

Conventional worm gearing, meshing in the position shown at the top of the drawing, has a very high total tooth contact area. While it offers high torque throughput and high ratio reduction, worm gearing has the lowest mechanical efficiency, due to the friction generated by its high component of sliding action. Worm gearing is also subject to the kind of wear that demands adjustment in order to maintain accuracy.

Hypoid gearing, meshing at the intermediate position, offers mostly rolling action with a small component of sliding action. It has a greater tooth contact area than bevel gearing, so its load-carrying capability is greater.

For more information on hypoid or other gear technology, visit

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What is an Elastomer Coupling?

Elastomer Coupling

Elastomer couplings can be plugged in, are backlash free, flexible shaft couplings for small to medium torques.  An elastomer coupling is typically a three piece design comprised of two hubs and an elastomeric spider.
The elastomer spider (insert) serves as the connection and compensation element with involute shaped teeth and high Shore hardness.  The spider is inserted with slight preload between two high precision machined hubs with matching involute shaped jaws.  The elastomer spider can compensate for shaft misalignments, is electrically insulating and demonstrates good oscillation dampening.

Areas of use for elastomer couplings range from general motion control applications to demanding drive systems in machine design including the spindle and axis drives of machine tools.  To learn more about elastomer couplings visit

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What is the GAM EASY-Clamp system?

Because the bore tolerances on couplings are so precise, installing or un-installing a servo coupling can be very difficult.  In fact, machine builders have been known to wedge screw drivers in the coupling hubs to help open the bores up.  Not only is this unsafe but the coupling and/or shafts can be damaged.
Coupling Installation

A better engineered solution is the EASY-Clamp system which is found on many GAM couplings.  This system allows easy installation without the need for additional tools (screw drivers included).  The EASY-Clamp pin is located just above the clamping bolt.
GAM coupling EASY Clamp
To engage the system, simply loosen the clamping bolt until it backs out and hits the pin.  This expands the clamping head making installation or un-installation quick and easy.
GAM Coupling Installation

Visit our site for more information on GAM couplings.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

GAM Customer Service Story - Rush Gearbox on a Friday Night

GAM Customer Service

One of GAM's application engineers received a phone call on Friday, March 8th at 4:45pm from a GAM sales representative in Michigan who had a customer with a machine down after a gearbox from a well-known manufacturer had failed.  The other manufacturer could not help the customer as they quoted 6 weeks for a replacement or anything similar.

The GAM sales representative who was working directly with the customer confirmed what mechanical and performance specifications would be required to get the machine up and running again and a GAM EPL-W-118-025G could do the job.  

Because the customer was down, they needed the gear reducer as soon as possible.  After verifying components were available, GAM committed to shipping that night.  The motor that this gear reducer would mount to was not in the database, so one of GAM's engineers had to design a new adapter plate from scratch.  And because the adapter was new, it also had to be programmed into the CNC machine prior to machining.  To make the situation more interesting, GAM's accounting software was down for scheduled maintenance that would take place over the weekend, so the order had to be processed entirely by hand. 

Approximately two hours after the initial phone call, the gear reducer was packaged up and ready for courier pickup for delivery to the customer that same night

Four GAM employees staying late on a Friday night to make sure a customer could get their machine running again. 

GAM Can Service. 

Even though a standard GAM gearbox worked for the customer, GAM has the ability to match the dimensions of most of the other gearbox manufacturers out there.  Need help crossing a gearbox over?  Email a GAM application engineer.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Infographic: What makes GAM couplings special?

Infographic: What makes GAM couplings special?
GAM Couplings

1.  A long history of coupling performance and quality.  Fact.  GAM introduced the bellows coupling to the North American Market.
2.  Easy Clamp System.  For easy coupling installation.
3.  Balanced hubs.  Balancing element allow for speeds up to 20,000 RPM.
4.  Brass Wire Press Fit Connection.  This bellows hub connection method was patented in 1974. 
5.  Specs you can believe in.  
6.  Huge coupling product range
7.  Customized for your application.  All of GAM couplings are custom machined per order.
8.  Deliveries you can count on.  98.1% of all couplings shipped on time or early since 2005.  Same day shipments are possible.
9.  Every coupling inspected.
10.  Excellent customer service and support.

For more information visit

Thursday, March 21, 2013

3D Printing
There have been many articles out there lately discussing the ways 3D printing will revolutionize industries and the way we do things like in the article, "How 3D Printing Will Turn Homes Into Mini Factories" by Popular Science.  While the future is very bright and there is definitely enormous potential, the technology is still relatively new to many companies.

Our project engineer sees the potential and recently purchased a 3D printer for his own personal hobbies.  He recently used the printer to make a cool replica of one of our V-Series spiral bevel gearboxes to help show the possible shaft configurations and the direction of their rotation.

Spiral Bevel Gearbox

 Spiral Bevel Gearbox
Spiral Bevel Gearbox

Spiral Bevel Gearbox

While these models are fun to play with, they can't transmit any torque or handle any radial loading.  Here are spiral bevel gearboxes that can.