An Overview on Gear Motor Safety Considerations

A gear motor is an extremely important and essential component of any industrial system. It is a combination of an electric motor and a gearbox. This makes it a simple and cost-effective solution for high-torque and low-speed applications as it pairs a gear reducer system with a motor. Significantly, a gear motor ensures that a well-matched gearhead and electric motor help in achieving optimal energy efficiency while extending the life of the equipment. Given their significance, there are some operational rules for gear motors that must be followed. This is because, when a gear motor fails to operate as it should, it can cause a huge loss for any business. This post explores a list of gear motor safety tips in detail. 

gear motors

Common Causes of Gear Motor Failure

Before we start discussing any gear motor safety considerations, it is essential to understand what are the causes of failure while operating the devices.

  • Extreme radial load on the shaft can destroy bearing support systems.
  • Gearboxes that experience electric shocks, fire, or explosions from excessive acceleration or deceleration may lead to gear tooth fracture/failure.
  • Gear motors placed in harsh environments exhibit stress on the gearbox sealing package, causing lubricant issues and poor heat dissipation.
  • A gear motor that is exposed to thermal cycling can experience compression.
  • Mounting of the motor should be stable as surfaces that cause misalignment may degrade the product life.
  • When two surfaces come in contact through the oscillating motion with no lubricant, then fretting corrosion may occur. It can also be caused due to zero rotation over a long time.

Top Gear Motor Safety Precautions Explained

Here are some important gear motor safety tips.

  • Do not push or insert any object into the air vents or openings of your equipment. Doing so may result in fire or electric shock by shorting out interior components.
  • Ensure to protect the combustible materials in the gear motor area because open-type enclosures may eject flame at the time of insulation failure.
  • Moisture increases the threat of electrical shock. Thus, it is important to avoid liquids in the area of motors. The use of an enclosed gear motor will reduce or prevent the hazard if all openings are sealed. Enclosed gear motors are best-suited for dirty, damp locations, while ventilated motors are suitable for dry, clean locations where cooling air is not restricted.
  • Gear motors with automatic thermal protectors must not be used where automatic restarting of the unit could be hazardous. This is because part of the human body or clothing could come in physical contact with a machine that starts when the thermal protector cools down.
  • To avoid unexpected motion, the windings of motors must be disconnected from the DC power source. If not considered, unwanted signals could turn the power transistors on and generate motion.
  • Gear motors with capacitors can develop a voltage across the capacitor winding depending on the design. Many times, overdrive voltage may be greater than a stepper motor’s continuous voltage rating. Appropriate precautions should be taken when using gear motors.
  • A partial winding failure or a cut-out switch failure may result in unpredictable reverse operation. Sometimes, the use of resistance or capacitance occasionally causes gear motors to start in a reverse direction. The vulnerability of this unplanned reversing works well when the motor’s actual load is lighter in weight than its rated load. One-way clutches are used if the unexpected reverse is not safe for the application.
  • Don’t use self-locking gears or energized motors to hold a load in place. Mechanical locking is the best solution for such applications.

Along with the mentioned safety considerations, the quality and performance of the gear motor make a huge impact. Thus, you must buy it from an industry-leading player like J&M Industrial to rest assured of the quality. With vast experience and highly-skilled expertise, the company deals in new as well as used industrial equipment and motors & drives.