Whilst there are occasionally gearboxes that will increase speed and reduce torque, in the vast majority of cases, a gearbox will be used to reduce the shaft speed of a motor and increase the torque.
This can be done for several reasons.
There are a few downsides to using gearboxes. Some of these can be dealt with by using a high quality gearbox. Others are simply unavoidable parts of using a gearbox. The main issues that you might find with a gearbox are;
Slow moving, high torque applications are by far the most common types of applications that these motors should be applied to. Whether it’s slow moving peristaltic pumps, large rotating turntables or robotics, a geared motor will move your application into the torque speed range that you need it to be in. This broadly applies to most industries depending on the specific type of project or application in question. For example, lots of pumps would not use gearboxes but then for those, such as large peristaltics, that require slow speeds and high torque, gearboxes would be the obvious choice.
Similarly in many direct drive applications (for example small robots), gearboxes are normally essential to get the drive down to the speeds and torque requirement without sacrificing efficiency by going for something like a stepper motor. In these applications, gearboxes enable the designers to benefit from a simple assembly process in which (for example) four wheels can all have independent drives that are able to deliver the required torque and speed. Without gearboxes this type of work would be impossible.
Gearboxes can make a huge difference and are basically essential for certain types of application as can be seen from the examples outlined above. However, in other cases it is important to think about exactly what it is you are wanting to do and to explore every potential option first. Adding gearboxes will reduce efficiency and in certain types of application this can be avoided. However, in other applications there is simply nothing which can deliver the performance that a gearbox can and they are therefore to be considered as essential parts of the process.
If you have a project where you are looking at gearboxes as a potential option but are unsure on the best possible route to go down then please feel free to get in touch with us to discuss your requirements. Our UK based team will be more than happy to advise on the options you have available and work with you to find the most appropriate solution for your project.