Understanding the Importance of the Zero-Backlash Drive

November 7, 2016- Backlash – the existing clearance gaps between gear teeth fits, also called deadband – is a very common and often valuable factor in the designs of gear and drive systems. Deliberately oversizing the space between gear teeth allows room for applying lubrication to the gearbox and can help accommodate the stresses of thermal expansion. For drives intended to only operate in one direction, and at a relatively constant speed, gearboxes with a moderate degree of backlash can still be highly effective.

For certain applications – such as drives that are expected to reverse direction, operate with very high accuracy, and hold the payload in an exact position – backlash must be minimized as much as possible. Drive systems in some types of solar trackers, wind turbines, medical equipment, satellite telemetry and radar dishes require guidance drives that provide pinpoint precision, without the error margins introduced by these gaps between gear teeth.

The solution for these applications? The zero-backlash drive.

“Zero-backlash” drives remove deadband between gears creating a near perfect mesh of operating gears. This, in turn, allows for a highly efficient transfer of kinetic energy, uniform load distribution and a very impressive level of positioning accuracy in drive systems that must turn in multiple directions.

Kinematics’ ZE zero-backlash slewing drives are designed with our patented hourglass worm technology, maximizing total gear contact while eliminating the deadband. This innovative design delivers unprecedented levels of positioning accuracy, exceptional operational reliability, minimal heat generation and superior acceleration control in these highly demanding engineering applications.

Learn more about Kinematics ZE Zero Backlash slewing drives, including third-party reliability tests and full engineering specifications.