Consider These Things When Getting A Harmonic Drive Gearbox

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A harmonic drive gearbox is an important part of many machines. It’s essential to know how to use one properly. This tool can transfer rotational power from one shaft to another. They come in different sizes and can be used in various applications. Many industries can benefit from using a harmonic drive gearbox from UK Harmonic Drive.

Know the ways of selecting the proper item by reading the following sections.

Housing styles

When selecting a harmonic drive gearbox, it’s important to consider how it will mount. A unit could have mounting feet, a flange on the output or basic tapped holes on one or more sides. These housing styles could limit how a unit is mounted, so having various options could prevent custom frames or brackets from being needed. For example, having tapped holes on the bottom face of the unit would prevent the need for a special L-bracket to mount around the output.

Shock loads

Shock loads are often called impact loads. As the name implies, these loads can cause increased wear on a gear unit, especially on its teeth and shaft bearings. If not accounted for properly, then this wear can cause premature failure. These loans fall into two categories – uniform and non-uniform. Uniform loads remain stable, while non-uniform loads change during the application.

Output mechanism

Output style comprises sprockets and chains, pulleys, toothed pinion, etc. Different output configurations, including shaft-mounted bushing or double output shaft, can decrease the extended load the unit is rated for. These output mechanisms require different bearings to account for the increased axial or radial load.

Output shaft

The output shaft of a harmonic drive gearbox is a vital component of overall transmission that bears torsion and shear stress. When sizing an application, the bore size and output should be based on the customer’s need. This may include a stainless output on the unit, and whether it has a keyed or keyless hollow bore, a keyed or keyless shaft, or a flanged output combined with any of the mentioned.

Gear placement

The housing style of gears in a harmonic drive system determines its efficiency and produced heat. The rule to opt for a gearbox is that it should produce more torque in exchange for less heat.

Helical gearboxes

These are low-power and compact. These are generally used for heavy-duty or low-power applications like crushers, extruders, coolers, and conveyors. It’s unique because it operates at a fixed angle, allowing constant contact over a given period. A Helical harmonic drive gearbox can also come in different variations.

A coaxial helical inline gearbox is known for its efficiency and high specification. Engineers can use them to maximise load and transmission ratios. A bevel helical gearbox is a type of gearbox used to create rotational motion between non-parallel shafts. It has a curving pair of teeth on a cone-shaped surface. The construction of the skew bevel helical gearbox is sturdy. Engineers can customise the number of teeth and gears.

Planetary gearboxes

A planetary harmonic drive system consists of an input and output shaft aligned. This allows for a high degree of torque density, which transfers the largest torque in the most compact form. Since the torque is divided over three gears at equal dimensions, these gearboxes produce almost three times the amount of torque than a standard gearbox. They are also known for their low backlash, low mass inertia, and high efficiency.

Worm reduction gearboxes

Worm reduction gearboxes have a large worm wheel that rotates in a screw-like movement. This allows the gearbox to increase speed reduction between non-intersecting crossed axis shafts. While they are powerful, they are among the least efficient gearboxes, principled on sliding action versus rolling action. As a result, careful consideration of motor selection is required when applying worm reduction gearing.


While some common mounting configurations, gearbox manufacturers offer a wide range of options for each unit size. But there are many other choices. Such options as mounting feet for either above or below the body of the gearbox, hollow outputs and input and output configuration are all possible. All gearbox manufacturers list their mounting options and dimensional information in catalogues and websites.

Getting the right harmonic drive gearbox ensures that applications will run efficiently. By following the simple tips above, there’s the certainty of finding the best fit for one’s application. This product would not only be lasting but also give excellent service.

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