The Development of a »New« Planocentric Gearbox with a Closed Cage and S-gear Tooth Flank
The planocentric gearboxes are complex mechanical devices with precisely manufactured components, particularly suitable for automation and mechatronic subsystems. On the market, several solutions are available, none of which cope with the main disadvantages of the technology. The most common drawbacks of these solutions start with a single cage design structure which suffers in looseness and unfavourable shaft loading. A precise manufacturing and assembly is of upmost importance in the case of the cycloidal planocentric gearboxes, so manufacturing costs could be increased. Moreover the gear ratio is limited. Additional problems, in lantern gears, are sliding and efficiency. All in all, current gearboxes are not fully optimised and present a high lifecycle impact on the environment. S-Gearbox project is dedicated to eliminating the common drawbacks and replacing several metal parts with plastic material, increasing the overall reliability and recyclability of the gearbox. Our goal is to develop a new planetary gearbox as small and as lightweight as possible, with low hysteresis for accurate positioning, high torsional stiffness, low inertia, high efficiency, overload capacity, lifetime lubrication, no maintenance.
Developed and optimized S-gearbox will have tremendous potential to be used for different applications primarily in automotive and aerospace industry but also many other industries, such as: the wind turbine industry, household appliances, mechatronic devices, industrial equipment and medical equipment.
The main aims of our proposal at this stage of development of the technology, are to finalise the analysis of all the remaining technological risks associated with our innovation and proving our solution in an operational environment in automotive or airspace industries, to assess the size of potential market, outline a full product development, IP protection and marketing strategy and to assess the environmental burden.
Periodic Reporting for period 1 - S-Gearbox (The Development of a »New« Planocentric Gearbox with a Closed Cage and S-gear Tooth Flank)
Initial focus of S-Gearbox project was planocentric gearbox with special gear tooth flank geometry, lifetime lubrication that allows maintenance free operation and retention of all kinematic and structural properties and preservation of operational capacities throughout whole operational life. The goal was to build gearbox as small and lightweight as possible – a preference in general practice and application requirement.
However, initial stages of feasibility study showed that to truly take advantage of target industries in key markets of EU and outside, we need to offer even more advanced version of original S-Gearbox by integrating into it spatial-awareness encoder, integrated torque sensor for measuring of the current output torque and a self-aware condition monitoring system. We call this innovation S-Gearbox Ultra and it is what we focused on when preparing technical and economic feasibility study.