What is a Gear Reducer and When to use it?

When manufacturers need to assemble cylindrical parts, Orbitform’s Roller Forming process offers a unique solution that overcomes the challenges of other processes. Typical processes such as crimping can result in cracking and inconsistent forms. To prevent these issues, roller forming applies a symmetrical downward force around the full 360-degree revolution of the part. We also include a gear reducer with the equipment to ensure we are applying that force at the appropriate speed.

What is a gear reducer?

A gear reducer is an optional powerhead accessory mounted between the housing and motor. It increases the amount of torque available to the spindle and slows down the rotational speed of the forming tool. This provides greater consistency and precision by allowing fine tuning of the forming speed. While it is used with our roller forming process, multi-point forming applications also require a gear reducer.

Reasons to use a gear reducer

The primary reason to use a gear reducer is to ensure there is enough torque available for the spindle. With smaller applications, there is a smaller point of contact for forming. This does not require as much torque to twist around the part. As you increase the size of the part, and thus surface contact area, the spindle requires more torque in order to form the part.

A gear reducer can also be used when an application doesn’t require the tooling to spin as fast. Larger parts with larger tooling do not require as high of speeds to travel around the part. Additionally, the faster the tooling spins, the faster the bearings will wear. Rotating at slower speeds can save tooling and maintenance costs.

The material of the part and final form requirements can also influence the speed and torque requirements. While Orbitform’s experts can provide general guidelines, the best way to determine speed and torque requirements is to test parts in our Solutions Lab.

There are many additional options that can be added to Orbitform’s powerheads, such as pressure pads, offset motor mounts, anti-rotate devices, and more. When you partner with Orbitform, our engineers analyze your part prints to ensure each piece of equipment has the necessary accessories and is designed to best fit your needs. Contact us today to discuss your application and find your unique solution.