Thursday, May 22, 2014

Why are Hypoid Gearboxes Ideal for Right Angle Applications?

Right Angle Hypoid Gearbox

This example will compare a traditional planetary bevel gearbox (left) with a hypoid gearbox (right), in a 5:1 gear reduction ratio.

Planetary Bevel Gearbox
By construction, a planetary bevel gearbox is the combination of an input bevel gear stage and an output planetary gear stage.  In order to achieve any gear reduction ratio, this type of gearbox always requires two or three gear stages.  In this example, the first stage is a 1:1 bevel gear ratio and the second stage is a 5:1 planetary gear ratio.  For a 3,000 RPM application, the motor speed is continued throughout the entire first gear stage, which means the input bearings and seals, gears, and output bearings and seals are all rotating at 3,000 RPM.  The actual reduction doesn't occur until the planetary gear stage.  Higher speeds throughout the gearbox means higher heat and can also result in a 50% service life de-rating for continuous applications.

Hypoid Gearbox

A hypoid gearbox on the other hand can achieve up to a 15:1 ratio with only a single gear stage.  In this 3,000 RPM application, the motor speed is immediately reduced to the final reduction speed of 600 RPM which is ideal for the gears, seals, bearings, and shaft.  A lower speed means less heat, which is important to maximizing the life and load carrying capabilities of the output bearings in a gearbox.  GAM’s Dyna Series hypoid gearbox has a 30,000 hour service life rating which is 50% more than a comparable planetary bevel gearbox.  In addition to the performance advantages of using a hypoid gearbox, as mentioned in a previous post there is also a substantial space saving benefit.  In the example above, GAM’s hypoid gearbox is 46% more compact than the planetary bevel gearbox.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Thomas Middle School Students Visit GAM - 5-1-2014

GAM has partnered with nearby Thomas Middle School to help educate students interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields.  For several years now, students visit GAM as a part of the Careers Connection class which includes a job shadow.

The day started with a presentation on the different types of engineering fields, followed by another on the various manufacturing processes.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)

After the presentations, things got hands on as the students got to design a phone docking station.  They rough sketched the initial concept on a whiteboard and made sure to include all features and dimensions.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) SketchSTEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Drawing

With some help from one of GAM’s engineers, the students created a 3D model of their part using Solidworks.  They tweaked the model until it was perfect and then created a dimensional drawing which would then be sent for manufacturing.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Solidworks

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Engineering

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) 3D model

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) 3D drawing

While the students ate some pizza for lunch, their part was programmed on a CNC machine.  After lunch, students got to watch as the machine took a block of aluminum and turned it into the phone docking station they designed.  The students were thrilled to leave with the part they actually designed!

GAM Employees Participated in the Shelter Inc. 5K

This past weekend, GAM employees participated in the Shelter Inc. 5K race in Arlington Heights.  Several employees actually took home awards for finishing.  Dan came in 2nd overall, Matt and Jesus both placed in their age group.  Shelter, Inc. provides community based, emergency and longer-term housing for children and adolescents who are abused, neglected, dependent or in need of supervision.  For more information on Shelter Inc. or to donate to their cause, please visit