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News | Milling, drilling and more: Optimal gears for metal working

Milling, drilling and cutting with cycloidal gears? An excellent idea. Due to their high precision and rigidity, the high-performance gears guarantee precisely executed motions, as well as pinpoint positioning, to bring metal working to the next performance level! That saves money and improves product quality.


Metal working machines are generally equipped with direct drives or low backlash planetary gears. Cycloidal gear technology is much less widespread. And yet these innovative gears are superior to conventional technologies in certain applications. Especially the machining of light metals such as aluminium benefits from the specific properties of precision cycloidal gears – whether for milling, drilling or cutting processes. Cycloidal gears are also an ideal choice for workpiece transfer systems.


High-precision gears for metal working

Cycloidal gears feature minimal backlash throughout their entire service life (hysteresis loss of 0.5 to max. 1 arcmin), excellent dynamics and smooth operation, as well as high rigidity and path accuracy. Their special construction makes them very rigid and robust, and they also achieve high transmission ratios in a compact design. Cycloidal gears enable fast and precise positioning motions without backlash to guarantee pinpoint placing and positioning of workpieces and tools. This reduces auxiliary times and increases the efficiency of the metal working processes.


The advantages of using cycloidal gears in metal working processes:

  • Higher productivity due to increased efficiency and stability of processes, as well as cycles with increased dynamics
  • Better product quality due to precisely executed motions and pinpoint positioning, less reworking required
  • Higher efficiency due to cycle-time concurrent processes
  • Reliable systems due to excellent resistance to shock loads (up to 500 % of the rated torque)
  • Flexible production and reduced costs


Milling, drilling and cutting with cycloidal gears

Whether for equipping machine tools, workpiece positioning, alignment and positioning of tools, or the transfer of workpieces between interlinked machine tools: The use of cycloidal gears can substantially boost the efficiency of metal working processes.


Applications for cycloidal gears in metal working:

  • Milling heads
  • Drilling heads
  • Cutting heads
  • B and C axes
  • Tool changers
  • Pallet changers
  • 4-axis machining centres
  • 5-axis machining centres
  • Transfer systems


Advantages over direct drives and low backlash planetary gears

As opposed to direct drive systems, cycloidal gears require neither water cooling nor cost-intensive power electronics. They also need less space, cost less, and are designed for simplified integration in the machine or system. A very low transmission error fault ensures a constant output rpm, which results in very high path accuracy – ideal for milling operations. The high positioning accuracy requirements of drilling and cutting operations are likewise no problem for cycloidal gears. Even after long-term use, the increase in backlash is minimal – a significant advantage over low backlash planetary gears, which often suffer from increased backlash during their service life. The design of cycloidal gears makes them inherently more compact (about 40 % shorter).


Cycloidal gears make the difference:

  • Extreme precision (hysteresis loss = 0.5 to max. 1 arcmin)
  • High rigidity
  • High dynamics
  • Compact design
  • High reduction ratios
  • User-friendly integration
  • Long life


Transfer systems for interlinking of machine tools

In metal working, cycloidal gears are also being used increasingly in transfer systems for interlinking machine tools. In addition to precision, workpiece transfer systems must also be highly dynamic, because faster movement and positioning of workpieces between the machining steps increases the productivity of the machine tool. The high torsional rigidity of cycloidal gears allows fast acceleration and braking with no loss of precision, which guarantees highly dynamic, high-precision positioning – whether by Scara robots, gantry units or integrated pallet changers. Transfer to process stations in the arcsecond range is possible. This reduces process times and error ratios.


Plug-and-play gears for metal working

For metal working processes, the gears of the RD-C and Necoâ series have withstood the test of time. The Necoâ series comprises ready-to-install precision gears with solid shafts in a modern, clean design with a high level of modularity and maximum flexibility in the motor connection. The compact servo gears are suitable for metal working processes such as milling, drilling and cutting, as well as for workpiece transfer. If a hollow shaft is needed for the feed-through of cables and hoses – such as for data and supply lines, or drive shafts – RD-C gears are the ideal solution. They feature a large hollow shaft and are available in three mounting variants (direct, angled and belt driven) for fast and economical installation in diverse applications.


Would you like to make your metal working processes more efficient and learn more about automation with cycloidal gears? Click here for more information.