A new rack & pinion system from German gearbox specialist Vogel offers linear motion with micron levels of accuracy at speeds from 0.1 to 6.5m/s. Six sizes of gearbox give drive forces from 2300 to 16000 N. The rack is available in standard lengths from 0.5 to 2.0 m. It can easily be extended without limit using mounting pieces that accurately set one rack from the next. The rack & pinion system has the advantages of high accuracy and rigidity, suiting machinery such as machine tools and robot gantries.
In fact, the rack & pinion system is a combination from two manufacturers. Vogel are specialists in precision gears and they supply the gearbox to servo precision levels. Minimal backlash in a range 1 to 3 arc mins is available. The rack and the pinion come from WMH Herion, a company with 60 years' experience in power transmission racks and gears.
Customers can specify the rack & pinion system to suit the level of performance required. There are two possibilities for connection of the pinion to the gearbox. A keyway connection is adequate for most applications, although it does introduce a small amount of backlash. When highest positioning accuracy is needed, a splined pinion connection with no possibility of backlash can be chosen. Gearbox ratios can be from 3 to 100 and the input flange is adapted to different types of motors. For up to medium performance an asynchronous motor with inverter is optimal, and the inverter can have integrated software for running positioning cycles. Beyond that asynchronous and synchronous servo motors can be used.
Vogel rack & pinion linear systems are available in the UK with technical support from Techdrives. Details are given on www.techdrives.co.uk.