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Drive in and find out

Complete drive solutions from modular construction kit


01.01.2016 was the third anniversary of the takeover of ZEITLAUF GmbH Antriebstechnik by the ebm-papst Group. The integration is still on-going, the effects of bundling the individual competences are already positively noticeable in many places. Good functionality will be specifically optimized. Following the motto 1 + 1 = 3, potentials within the meaning of optimal drive solutions will be made significantly more effective.

In this way, existing customers and potential new customers can, as usual, choose the best solution for your application from more than 4,000 drive combinations in the ebm-papst ZEITLAUF online-portal. This is based on the proven gear technologies (planetary transmission, spur gears and miter gears) which are combined with suitable motors (primarily brushed DC and EC motors). This offer will be supplemented with other BLDC internal and external rotor motors with integrated electronics from ebm-papst. The result for the customer is an even more complete drive solution than before. A number of logic and power electronics with different control functions integrated into the drive are new to the range. The integrated electronics module K3 offers an integrated revolutions control function as standard. With electronics module K4, it is also possible to control the torque and position of the drive unit.

Figure 1: Production line for the modular drive system products.

Compact, space saving modular drive system solution

Typical advantages appear in a compact solution made up of construction kit modules technically coordinated with one another, and which can be integrated in machine concepts to save space. Lower installation expenses on the basis of the reduced number of mechanical components combined with a significantly simplified electrical connection reduces the total assembly and operation expenses. In addition to the purely technical advantages, there are other benefits which come about through handling a reduced number of unit parts and dealing with fewer suppliers (Fig. 1, page 22). Positive effects resulting from bundling development expertise also appear in the new products, which will be gradually presented on the market.

Figure 2: Motor-gear combination ECI 80 and Optimax 63

An example of this is the new motor ECI 80. Based on the concept of a brushless internal rotor motor, this BLDC motor offers a power output of up to 754 Watts. Compared with the outputs of the previously available drives, this is more than double the possible power outputs. Related to the concept, motors of this kind offer a very high overload capacity. In the short-term, peak torque can be offered, which exceeds the specified continuous torque by 4 times. This overload capacity leads to increased requirements for a fitted gear. With the gear series Optimax, also new, ebm-papst ZEITLAUF will meet these requirements for the robustness of gears. Beyond the interfaces of the motor and gear, requirements for a drive solution are also defined (Fig. 2).

Optimax 63: competitive price-performance ratio

In a second stage, these will be broken down with clear technical and commercial requirements for the individual components. In the case of the new gear Optimax 63, the required overload capacity is a material technical requirement. In realizing the gear, this requirement could be met on the one hand by the large effective diameter compared to the external size of the gear. A large engaged toothed area, characterized by the use of four longer, spur-toothed planetary gears, also makes a positive contribution. The careful selection of high quality materials, in particular for the hollow gear and the planetary gears, round off the features. The small number of individual parts and the optimal design of the mechanical interfaces on the fitted motor guarantee a competitive price-performance ratio.

It is not only for new developments that the competences of the two drive specialists are applied in a result-oriented way. The synergy effects also have a positive effect on the range of even more complete drive solutions when the portfolios are combined. Within a comprehensive modular construction kit, it will be possible to offer technical solutions optimized in terms of time and costs for the most varied drive tasks.

Figure 3: Motor family from the VDC/ECI/BCI series

Within the framework of the construction kit, there are several motor technologies for different applications with discharge lines of 5 to 750 Watts available. The motors of the ECI series, realized using the principle of brushless internal rotor motors, are distinguished by a high power density thanks to a very good dynamic response. The motors for the VD/ VDC series (motors using the principle of brushless external rotor motors) offer very good synchronization characteristics in an extremely compact construction. The BCI series (motors using the principle of brushed internal rotor motors) is distinguished by economic motors with high starting torques (Fig. 3).

Electronics, encoder and brake modules

Other drive system modules which can be flexibly combined with the motors of the ECI and VD/ VDC series are different electronics modules. Consumers can orientate themselves to a broad spectrum of control functions, again independent of your application’s stated requirements. The motor can therefore be controlled in terms of the number of revolutions, torque or position. Both analog and digital nominal values or movement commands can be applied as the control over the bus (CANopen pursuant to DS 402). This drive type is rounded off and supported by a selection of encoder and brake modules.

Figure 4: Gear family planetary gear/spur gear/miter gear

Gears with various technologies

An essential task for a drive solution is adapting the stated motor-specific performance parameters and measurements to the requirements of the particular application. Both the demands on the number of revolutions and torque as well as construction measurements are to be met. With the takeover of ZEITLAUF, gears are available as modular drive systems with various technologies and forms. (Fig. 4)

A comprehensive product range of planetary gears is available if an offset is not permitted in the application. If a high degree of effectiveness is to be achieved with minimal noise, the planetary gear NoiselessPlus shows what it has got. The exemplary quietness is achieved using extraordinarily robust, low-wear plastic planetary gears in an aluminum housing with slotted helical gearing. Double output shafts fitted with ball bearings efficiently absorb the power which high radial loads place on the shafts. The output shafts of the NoiselessPlus gear are made from hardened and smoothed cementation steel and therefore have a particularly long lifespan.

Outstanding power density Performax®

Performax® is an innovative, patented concept for high-performance planetary gears. With its path-breaking alignment, the Performax® gear convinces with an outstanding power density, excellent quietness and unique breadth of reduction. Reductions of up to 17:1 in one stage allow one-stage gears to be used where competitor products must use two stages.

The series design features include helical toothed plastic gear wheels in the first stage, as well as a linear tooth profile with planetary gears made from case-hardened steel in the zinc diecast housing in the second stage. Another feature of the Performax® gear is represented by the planetary gears of the second stage, equipped with needle bearings as standard – with this, the series clearly stands out from current marketable planetary gears.

Innovative miter gears: EtaCrown®

EtaCrown® is the name of the innovative miter gears with crown wheel technology. The vision of making crown wheel gears stronger, smaller and more efficient and, above all, to produce them economically, is now reality. EtaCrown® significantly improves the energy efficiency and the economic efficiency of drive solutions. By applying the modular drive system principle, it is possible to make flexible adjustments to any drive task.

A very compact construction and space-saving geometry with a symmetrical structure with the highest power density are among its characteristics. Reductions of 4:1 to 113:1 are available as standard. Smooth running as a result of shifting tooth gripping is standard. Very quiet running thanks to intelligent toothing technology and gear design, and the highest radial load from double-sided bearing of the output shafts are also among the features of the equipment. A particular feature of the miter gears is the lack of self-locking for technological reasons. Unlike other drive technologies, this offers optimal protection against vandalism.

Helical gears

The range of gears is rounded off with the helical gears from the Flatline and Compactline series. In the first gear stage, these have plastic skew gears which achieve optimal noise insulation. The following gear stages are optimally designed with regard to running noise and the torque to be transferred. Hardened and smoothed output shafts as well as hardened gear wheels are standard in all gears in the Flatline and Compactline series. Zinc diecasting is used as housing. Thanks to their construction, gears in the Flatline series can be used in particular in applications with limited installation lengths. In the gears from the Compactline series, the gear widths have been dimensioned to optimize noise; in particular in the area of the first stage they are as large as possible, and ensure a good cover between the motor shaft and the combing gear wheel.

Figure 5: Preferences from the modular drive system are ready to ship by ebm-papst in 48 hours

Preferences are ready to ship in 48 hours

ebm-papst ZEITLAUF has optimized logistics internally in such a way that the preferences from the modular drive system can be shipped within 48 hours after receipt of the order (Fig. 5). Those interested can read the documentation on the drive components (technical data, drawings, 3D models) in the ebm-papst ZEITLAUF online-portal, and print or download them if necessary. The potential drive solutions are also presented in a new product overview “Motors and drive systems”. Interested parties can therefore display and select suitable drives for their application, order them immediately and test them in the application after just a few days, all through the online-portal, and in the shortest time. Should you have any questions during this phase, the applications engineers from ebm-papst will be happy to help.

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