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Shaft couplings: Precise and Backlash-Free for Every Area of Application

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The areas of application for shaft couplings are highly diverse due to the wide variety of requirements for drive technology. Couplings should always be carefully selected based on the application and its unique requirements. Reliable torque transmission, and in some cases, protection against damage and downtime from overload, are primary tasks of a coupling. R+W Antriebselemente GmbH makes both standard couplings and individually customized solutions to meet the varying requirements of precision and industrial drive technology. 

Depending on which specific type, precision couplings generally transmit torques from 0.05 to 25,000 Nm. Metal bellows couplings are typically used in highly dynamic servo axes in machine tools, woodworking machines, packaging machines, automation systems, printing machines, etc. Excellently suited for direct drives, metal bellows compensate for lateral, axial and angular shaft misalignment with low restoring forces. Different types of hub connection are available for torque transmission from 2 to 10,000 Nm with zero backlash and a high level of torsional stiffness. Miniature bellows couplings, also backlash free, are like their bigger brothers, but transmit smaller torques precisely in connections for encoders, small servo drives, tachometers, etc. within a range of 0.05 to 10 Nm.  

If characteristics such as vibrating damping with reduced torsional rigidity, modularity, and electrical isolation are required, an elastomer coupling is recommended. The preloaded elastomer insert, the heart of this type of coupling, transmits torques from 0.5 to 25,000 Nm without backlash. In addition to compensating for lateral, axial and angular shaft misalignment, the stiffness and damping behaviour can be modified by using elastomer inserts with different degrees of hardness. The connection between the shaft and the coupling hub can be made in a number of different ways. For example, R+W offers keyway mounting, clamping hubs (including fully split hubs), conical clamping hubs and expanding shafts. Elastomer couplings can be used in a broad range of applications: servo drive technology, machine tools, packaging machines, automation systems, printing machines, control and positioning technology, pumps and agitators, roller shutter drives, etc.  

Precision Industrial couplings are used for similar applications requiring precise torque transmission. They transmit torques from 0.1 to 2,800 Nm and reliably disconnect the driving and driven shafts within milliseconds when an overload occurs. Many applications require this type of safety release in order to protect expensive equipment from damage and to reduce plant downtime in case of a malfunction. The R+W product portfolio offers safety couplings that are free of backlash for both indirect and direct drives, including incorporation into metal bellows or elastomer couplings, with a variety of connection methods and operating modes. 

A flexible drive shaft is also available for spanning longer distances between shafts, for example, in palletising robots, printing machines, packaging machines, conveyor systems, cranes and woodworking machines. Torques from 9 to 25,000 Nm can be transmitted free of backlash with either torsional stiffness or vibration damping. Depending on the model, the flexible element (metal bellows or elastomer insert) also compensates for lateral, axial and angular shaft misalignment. Another two advantages of the drive shaft are the radial installation and the customer selected overall lengths of up to 6 m, depending on the model and series.  

For heavy duty applications, R+W industrial couplings have rated torque capacities ranging from 200 to 2,080,000 Nm. The vast differences in sizes and torque capacities make a case for distinguishing between the categories of precision and industrial drive couplings. The company also provides a visual distinction between the two product groups, using white and black coloured product literature. The basic types of industrial couplings bear similar names to the precision couplings. They include torsionally stiff flexible disc couplings and flexible gear couplings. The torsionally stiff, flexible disc couplings offer precise transmission of angle and torque (350 – 24,000 Nm) for steel mills, printing machines, pumps in line with the API standard, test stands, generators, etc. The disc set compensates for shaft misalignment and various configurations are available for shaft mounting. 

The robust structure of the gear couplings allows for transmission of torques from 1,900 to 2,080,000 Nm with torsional stiffness and low backlash. They are typically used in direct drives for mixers, rolling mills, pumps, test stands, steel mills, conveyors, etc. The torque density of the coupling further highlights its suitability for use in heavy duty machines. Misalignment compensation is achieved by means of the highly precise interlocking of the coupling hub gear teeth with the centre flanges. 

Industrial safety couplings round out the portfolio. They can be used for indirect and direct drives in rolling mills, wind turbines, bucket wheel excavators, extruders, steel mills, shredders, tunnel boring machines, etc. with higher torque transmissions of 200 to 250,000 Nm. Equipped with durable disengagement modules distributed around the outer surfaces, the coupling affects a complete separation of the driving and driven shafts in the event of overload. Finally, this series reliably limits torque , thereby reducing downtime in the event of a crash and increasing the availability and output of production plants. 

Precision Servo Gear Heads, Precision Right Angle Gearboxes, Precision and Industrial Couplings, Keyless Locking Assemblies, and Shrink Discs are among the most recent technological innovations. of Power Ace India. One of the top gearbox manufacturers in India, Power Ace India, helps businesses choose the best drives to maximise machine production and efficiency. 

Figure 1_A typical R+W coupling with metal bellows.  

Figure 2_Elastomer couplings have an elastomer insert rather than a metal bellows in the centre. 

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