Solutions in Motion™

    New Super Small Gearboxes: Going Micro to Meet Customer Needs [VIDEO]

    Posted by Troy Branham on Jan 13 ,2022

    If you need small gearboxes for your industrial application, you’ve come to the right place. W.C. Branham’s new MICROGEARTM IASM5 and IASM7 gearboxes are the latest examples of their ongoing commitment to provide precisely the products customers need to fit their applications’ performance requirements and solve design challenges. Watch the video below to see some examples of the industrial challenges these extremely small gearboxes can solve.

    “We have developed a robust line of right-angle gearboxes over the last 20 years,” notes W.C. Branham General Manager Chad Randleman, “continuously expanding to cover most industrial applications.” Even so, he says, “customers often ask about other iterations to meet their unique needs, and sometimes those requests have been for smaller gearboxes.”

    The new MICROGEAR Gearboxes are 50% smaller than anything in W.C. Branham’s existing lines – under 1.5 cubic inches.

    While micro-size devices and components are fairly common in automotives, electronics, and other consumer goods industries, they are more recent introductions into industrial and manufacturing applications.

    The new MICROGEAR gearboxes will appeal to companies focusing on smaller products, including longtime W.C. Branham customers and new customers in the industries it serves.

    Advantages of Using Micro Components for Industrial Applications

    Miniaturization has been the direction in manufacturing for decades, especially in industries like medical devices and food processing and packaging. W.C. Branham has known for years the advantages of using smaller components in food processing equipment, but compact simply isn't small enough for certain applications. Micro-sized gearboxes are the next step in downsizing products and the manufacturing processes behind them.

    Medical equipment and devices used in surgery, clinics, and labs are increasingly designed for portability as well as space and cost savings, so they have to be smaller and lighter. Automation and robotics are more prevalent. Every component has to be smaller, to accommodate these changes. But these devices typically require very precise operation, so they need relatively small, compact power transmission to work. 

    In food and beverage, the "shrinking" trend is driven by consumer demand for more convenient, single-portion size packaging and the growing market for individually packaged snacks. Both processing and packaging operations now require smaller-scale production equipment to adapt.

    Small Gearboxes, Big Solutions

    Many industries can benefit from space-saving designs. The new MICROGEAR gearboxes support limited-space design without sacrificing the reliability, performance, precision, speed, torque control, cost efficiency and long life W.C. Branham products are known for. Key industries where miniaturization is trending also face stringent safety and sanitation requirements that dictate which materials can be used for gearbox components.

    Here are the quick specs on the super small Hollow Bore and Shaft Gearbox Models: 

    • The new MICROGEARTM IASM5 and IASM7 models are available with ¼” and ⅜” hollow bores, respectively, to insert keyed shafting through the gearbox. The IASM7 series has a compact ¾" center distance between the bores, and the IASM5 series is just ½".
    • Two new models – the ICASM5 and ICASM7 are also being introduced – which include solid input/output shafts in two-, three- and four-way configurations.
    • All of the MICROGEAR gearboxes have a ratio of 1:1 with speeds up to 1800 RPM and power capacity of 1/6 HP.
    • Micro gearboxes are available in both right- and left-hand configuration.
    • They are pre-lubricated and lubed for life for most applications. (W.C. Branham was first in the industry to offer right-angle hollow-core helical gearboxes that come pre-lubricated and sealed inside a leak-proof gearcase.)
    • Insert-A-ShaftTM  products are available in standard aluminum as well as stainless steel for food processing and packaging, medical device manufacturing, and other applications that operate in harsh conditions or controlled environments.

    Selecting the Right Product for Your Application

    Need help choosing the right product? Even if you know you need a small gearbox, there are other factors that go into choosing the right-fit right-angle gearbox. You’ll need to consider details such as capability, mounting, and environmental requirements. 

    W.C. Branham design engineers can customize to match your specs, by modifying a standard micro gearbox or helping you design something completely new from scratch. They will also produce a prototype, so you can try it out to confirm performance is as-needed (or requires further tweaking), or provide 3D STEP CAD files for specific micro gearboxes. 

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    Topics: Right Angle Gearbox, Gearboxes