Drives and Controls Magazine
Software bridges gap between standard and custom gearboxes
Published:  24 June, 2019

At the 2019 Hannover Fair, SEW-Eurodrive unveiled a new generation of its X industrial gearboxes which it has optimised in terms of their hardware as well as calculation processes designed to meet specific customer demands. The Generation X.e boxes include helical and helical-bevel types spanning the torque range 6.8-475kNm.

SEW has set out to bridge the gap between standard gearboxes, which often involve compromises, and costly customised designs with long lead times. It is using a suite of software tools to ensure that customers will receive bespoke gearboxes in the time it usually takes to deliver a standard product.

Hardware enhancements include an improved bevel pinion housing in the gearbox input stage, and optimised preload settings for the shaft bearings. Thermally improved oil levels, non-contact sealing systems for the input and output shafts, a new fan and guard concept, and improved tooth topologies, all help to boost performance.

SEW-Eurodrive says that software will allow it to deliver custom gearboxes on timescales usually associated with standard boxes.

In addition to the hardware changes, SEW is using the suite of networked software tools ­– including simulators – to translate customer requirements into drive specifications. The tools use preliminary settings to calculate the ideal combination of characteristics which are passed on to its manufacturing processes to create a chain from the initial requirement to the finished product.