Design World Issue: Power Transmission Reference Guide + more


Power-transmission components are mainstays

Lee TeschlerMotion designs continually evolve, but will always rely on mechanical devices, particularly where the drive of an electric motor engages a load to execute machine tasks. In fact, as the technical reviews
in this 2016 Power Transmission Reference Guide explain, applications for mechanical motion components only proliferate as technical innovations make them increasingly effective.

Consider this Reference Guide’s section on bearings by Associate Editor Mike Santora. The most common bearing applications are in heavy machinery and industrial setups as always, but renewable-energy use is spurring innovations to get higher capacities as turbines push the limits of bearing designs.

There’s also increased demand for complete system solutions over components, which is changing the design of linear systems, actuators and gear motors, as well as subsystems such as conveyors and robotics. Consider the section on gear motors in this Reference Guide by Senior Editor Miles Budimir. Here, manufactures are predesigning and assembling more motors than ever with gearboxes upfront, for an ever-expanding array of ac gearmotors and servo gearmotors. Such gearmotors are increasingly accurate as well, particularly those sporting planetary gearsets.

That’s thanks in part to how manufacturers are making gearing with the latest approaches in design, machining and assembly. Check out the sections in this Reference Guide covering gear-design consultation, custom gear designs and analysis, as well as general speed reducers, worm gearing, and shaft-mount sets. These articles detail common and custom offerings that optimize inertia matching and speed output. In fact, today’s software now lets designers get design-specific gearing—and other power-transmission components—at lower cost than that of general-purpose offerings from just a decade ago.

In fact, today’s moving designs rely on an increasingly diverse array of mechanical components to protect expensive subsystems and change motion-system dynamics to simplify programming. These actuators, ballscrews, bearings, brakes, chains, collars, couplings, gearing, rails and rack-and-pinion sets transmit power in ways that get higher performance than ever.

So use this Reference Guide as a review of basic component functions or as an update on what’s new in power-transmission designs—and to get instructions on how to make the most of proliferating features to meet evolving motion-system requirements.

As mechanical designs change, count on us Design World editors to bring you technology updates to help you specify and integrate the right components. We invite your feedback and requests for technical information. There are innumerable ways to reach us: Email me at or tweet to @DW_LisaEitel, @Linear_Motion and @Motion_Control. Connect with our Design World Network Facebook page at, and let us know what designs you’re using or are looking to apply.

Also look out for the 2016 Motion Systems Handbook and 2016 Motion Casebook coming to you in August and November for complete coverage of electronic and programming technologies for motion designs, as well as real-world application examples and illustrations to inform your next build. In the mean time, also find all our motion-technology news announcements (as well as technical archives) on our motion tips sites—motioncontroltips. com,,, and

Speak Your Mind