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    Solutions in Motion™

    [VIDEO] A Closer Look into the Two Types of Wind Turbine Brakes

    Posted by Peter Wold on Oct 26 ,2016

    To operate properly, wind turbines need two types of brakes — one to control the rotor speed to protect the system, and another to keep the turbine facing into the wind. W.C. Branham Sales Manager Pete Wold looks at your options for the two types of wind turbine brakes in this edition of Solutions in Motion.

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    Topics: Wind Turbine Brakes, Videos

    What to Ask When Applying Pneumatic Rod Cylinders to a Mechanical Design

    Posted by Troy Branham on Oct 19 ,2016

    There is no doubt that when designing a complex piece of specialized equipment pneumatic rod cylinders have a lot of advantages. For one, there is no better way to pack a big punch in a small package when you need it. However, it’s not like one size fits all. You need to find the right fit for your application, so these are a few key questions to ask when applying pneumatic rod cylinders to your mechanical design.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators

    Everything You Need to Know About Spiral Bevel Gear Design

    Posted by Peter Wold on Oct 12 ,2016

    Where they were once an expensive and difficult configuration to make, gearboxes today can be made from spiral bevel gears. The precision necessary to craft such beautiful and intricate pieces is still tricky, but with the right attention to design and fabrication, their many benefits can be had by all. In order to fully appreciate their many advantages, here is everything you need to know about spiral bevel gear design.

    The most common form of this kind of gearbox is a differential, like that found in a car. That is a much more complicated design which allows each wheel to turn at different rates. It also relies on a pinion and ring gear assembly, where the driving and driven gears are very different in size. But the simplest form of a right angle gearbox uses the same elegant spiral bevel gear cut with gears much more similar in diameter and number of teeth.

    The gears in a spiral bevel gear design are cut in a helix, which is very complicated and intricate. Before computer controlled machines, it took an expert machinist many hours to be able to craft gears like this from raw stock. The helical cut runs either clockwise (right hand) or counter-clockwise (left hand). For this reason, they always have designed, fabricated, and used in pairs. A gearbox, once fabricated, should be considered sealed.

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    Topics: Right Angle Gearboxes

    5 Common Right Angle Gear Drive Lubrication Options

    Posted by Troy Branham on Oct 5 ,2016

    In any complex mechanical machine, all of the parts represent a chance for failure if they are not designed or maintained properly. Sometimes the simplest parts get overlooked. A right angle gearbox needs less attention than many more complex parts, but it still can bind, grind or fail if it does not have the proper lubrication. Here are five common right angle gear drive lubrication options for proper installation and maintenance depending on your particular operating conditions.

    1. Gearing Type

    The internal speeds of your right angle gearbox vary with the type of gears operating in them. Each requires a different type of lubricant in order to perform properly. Spur and bevel gears use a low speed and low slide lubricant. Helical or spiral bevel gears are medium slide and medium speed. Worn gears always operate with high or excessive sliding, with very high loads.

    The manufacturer will usually recommend the proper lubrication for the type of gears in the right angle gearbox for normal loads.

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    Topics: Right Angle Gearboxes

    Proper Maintenance for Your Rodless Cable Pneumatic Cylinder

    Posted by Troy Branham on Sep 28 ,2016

    Rodless cable pneumatic cylinders are very useful for many applications because they save space. With no rod to extend or retract, rodless cable cylinders stroke along their own body length. So they save valuable machine space because they are almost half the overall length of a comparable rod cylinder while producing the same, if not more, punch.

    W.C. Branham manufactures all of our cable pneumatic cylinders using the highest quality of materials and workmanship. From Mil-Spec rated cables which provide millions of continuous cycles to 6063T6 aluminum hard coated I.D. and O.D. tubing to sheaves made from high strength aluminum and superior sealing, you can count on them to provide reliable operation with minimal maintenance for years.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators

    Right Angle Gearboxes: Does My Design Call for a Right or Left-Hand Rotation?

    Posted by Troy Branham on Sep 21 ,2016

    Right angle gearboxes are used throughout dozens of industries in hundreds of applications that require a reliable transfer of speed or power. They're versatile, but the name can be a bit of a misnomer — the “right” in "right angle" comes from their 90-degree angle — but they can be right- or left-facing. If your application demands a right angle gearbox, it’s important to know if your design calls for a left-hand or right-hand rotation.

    Right-Hand or Left-Hand Rotation

    The main differentiation between the right-hand and left-hand versions of right angle gearboxes is the rotation of the gear drives.

    For example, a bottom gear in both left- and right-hand rotations turning clockwise would have the top gear turning counterclockwise for left-hand rotation, and clockwise in the right-hand rotation.

    With many standard types and sizes are available, and the ability for specialty shaft configurations, ensuring the right angle gearbox for your application is key. Having multiple mounting options also helps simplify your design considerations.

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    Topics: Right Angle Gearboxes

    What is a Linear Actuator?

    Posted by Troy Branham on Sep 7 ,2016

    A linear actuator is any mechanical device that converts energy (power from air, electricity, or liquid) to create motion in a straight line, such as blocking, clamping, ejecting, lifting, descending, pushing, or pulling.

    It’s typically used in industrial automation and machinery, in applications along with motors, valves, pumps, switches, dampers, and in many other places where linear motion is required.

    A linear actuator moves a load, which can be an assembly, components, or a finished product, in a straight line, and is powered by pressurized fluid or air, as well as electricity.

    How Do Linear Actuators Work?

    Hydraulic and pneumatic actuators differ in how they work.

    Hydraulic actuators — also known as hydraulic cylinders — have a hollow cylinder with a piston inserted. An unbalanced pressure applied to the piston generates force that can move an external object.

    Since liquids are nearly incompressible, a hydraulic cylinder can provide controlled, precise linear displacement of the piston, but only along the axis of the piston. A good example is a hydraulic car jack.

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators

    [VIDEO] Introduction to OVLPRO™ Low Profile Pneumatic Cylinders

    Posted by Troy Branham on Aug 31 ,2016

    W.C. Branham President and CEO Troy Branham introduces our newest product line, OVLPRO™ Low Profile Pneumatic Cylinders, in this edition of Solutions in Motion. 

    Like many of our products, OVLPRO™ was originally designed from a specific customer request: looking for a low profile, compact, high reciprocating cylinder for a specific application. We offer OVLPRO™ in three bore sizes: 25mm, 32mm, and 44mm bore. 

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    Topics: Hydraulic Cylinders, Videos

    Advice for Enhancing Your Engineering Design Process

    Posted by Chad Randleman on Aug 24 ,2016

    The engineering design process is a basic progression of several steps that mimic the process used in almost any problem-solving scenario.  The difference between a basic analytical problem and an engineered design problem is that an analytical problem has only one solution whereas a design problem can have many potential solutions. The job of an engineer or designer is to determine which solution is the best based upon what the most desirable outcome is.

    1. Identification

    The process begins by identifying a problem that requires an engineered solution. The first step is to identify and define what the problem is. Next, it is important to gather information, define any constraints that would impact the design and begin to imagine possible solutions to solve the problem.

    2. Planning 

    Once you have generated a few solutions you can begin planning what you will need.

    • What materials will be required?
    • What manufactured products exist that can be implemented into the design?  
    • What are the most important criteria of the design?
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    Topics: Insider

    How Does a Magnetic Coupling Work?

    Posted by Troy Branham on Aug 17 ,2016

    Magnetic couplers convey force without any actual physical contact. Because magnetic forces attract and repel, they can perform this action in a linear or rotary fashion. But how does magnetic coupling work, and why is it so useful? 

    The Magic of Magnets

    Magnetic couplers convey force without any actual physical contact. Because magnetic forces attract and repel, they can perform this action in a linear or rotary fashion.

    Magnetically coupled cylinders have a carrier that moves from end to end in both directions on a tube.

    End caps with pneumatic fittings allow the user to shuttle the carrier from one position to another using air as power in conjunction with a pneumatic control box. It could shuttle a few inches on an industrial machine or move 10 feet on a car wash door (like the DoorTec pictured here on a car wash door).

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    Topics: Pneumatic Actuators