Worm Gear Overview

At Superior Gearbox Company, we’ve manufactured high-quality gear drives for power transmission systems for over 45 years. One of our core product offerings is low input speed worm gear reducers.

Speed reducers—also referred to as gearboxes or gear reducers—are mechanical devices that serve two functions. The first function, as suggested by the name, is reducing the input speed so the output speed is appropriate for the application. The second function is multiplying the input torque provided by the power source. These functions are accomplished by employing a worm (a component that resembles a screw) and worm gear (a component similar to a spur gear). This design results in the input gear completing more rotations than the output gear in the same period, leading to decreased speed and increased torque.

To achieve greater torque from a transmission requires a reduction of speed. Speed reduction is the primary function of a worm gear speed reducer, ours, known as a Variodrive. A worm gear speed reducer consists of a worm pinion input and output worm gear oriented for perpendicular output, which produces a higher torque value in relation to the applied reduction ratio. The small diameter of the output gear allows the Variodrive to be used in applications where space is limited.  

How Does a Worm Gear Reducer Work?

A worm pinion is a screw used to input power to the assembly. When coupled with a standard spur gear fitted with slightly angled teeth in a perpendicular alignment, known as a worm gear or worm wheel, the pairing becomes a worm gear reducer. As power from an engine or motor turns the worm pinion, its spirals push the teeth on the worm wheel, causing it to turn in accordance with the designed reduction ratio as it applies load to its drive shaft.

Higher reduction ratios may be achieved by increasing the circumference of the worm gear, or by increasing the number of threads on the worm pinion. Accomplishing the same reduction using conventional gear sets requires multiple reductions, which take up more space. Increasing the number of parts raising costs and adding to the risk of component failure.


Variodrive Features and Benefits

In addition to decreased space and greater simplicity, a Variodrive includes a variety of features and benefits designed to provide greater efficiency in speed reduction and increased torque. Some of these advantages include:

  • Heat dissipation. The ribbed aluminum design of the Variodrive provides improved heat dissipation, allowing for higher thermal resistance and reduced internal pressure buildup.
  • Design improvements. The typical bushing style reducers are replaced with two bearings along the input shaft, offering improved leak prevention and mounting flexibility.
  • Flange options. Standard NEMA motor flange or IEC motor flange configurations are available.
  • O-rings. The use of O-rings on the input flange and output cover, in contrast to typical paper gaskets, provides a more effective seal and prevent leakage.
  • Bore design. The hollow output bore design with optional plug-in shafts is standard on Variodrive, contributing to lowered inventory levels and improved profitability.
  • No ventilation. Variodrive does not require a breather plug or any form of ventilation because of its superior heat dissipation design. This feature allows lifelong sealing, mitigating the risk of outside contaminants.
  • Ratios from 100:1 in a single reduction stage and 10,000:1 in a double reduction unit are available.
  • Corrosion-resistant. The aluminum housing and protective coating mitigate the risk of corrosion.

Browse the Variodrive Quick Select Guide to determine which model fits your application.

Cleandrive Features and Benefits

Cleandrive units adhere to generally accepted principles of sanitary design. They enhance the functionality of equipment and facilities while reducing the potential threat of product cross contamination. Some of the features and advantages of Cleandrive units include:

  • Stainless Steel housings, shafts and hardware.
  • Food grade synthetic lubricant.
  • Smooth surfaces to comply with stringent requirements for the food processing industry
  • Easy to clean: All products within the Superior Gearbox Cleandrive product lines incorporate sound elements of design that allow for easier access to facilitate cleaning.

Cleandrive units are designed to help provide a safe production environment for our customers. Browse our Cleandrive Quick Select Guide to determine which model fits your application.


Low Input Speed Worm Gear Reducers

Superior Gear provides a variety of low-input speed worm gear reducers to accommodate a wide range of circumstances. Our models include:

V210 Series

  • Ratios: 5:1, 10:1, 20:1 (left hand or right hand)
  • Input: 1″ or hydraulic motor
  • Output: 1.25″
  • Weight (including lubricant): 25 lbs.

W260 Series

  • Ratios: 12.5:1, 25:1, 50:1 (left hand or right hand)
  • Input: 1″ or hydraulic motor
  • Output: 2″ solid (1.5″ hollow bore on request)
  • Weight (including lubricant): 55 lbs.

I210 Series

  • Ratios: 20:1 (left hand or right hand)
  • Input: 1″ or hydraulic motor
  • Output: 1.25″
  • Weight (including lubricant): 35 lbs.

I260 Series Low Input Speed Worm Gear Reducers

I260 Series

  • Ratios: 25:1, 50:1 (left hand or right hand)
  • Input: 1″ or hydraulic motor
  • Output: 2″ solid or hollow bore
  • Weight (including lubricant): 85 lbs.

I280 Series

  • Ratios: 50:1 (left hand or right hand)
  • Input: 1.25″ or hydraulic motor
  • Output: 2″ hollow bore shaft
  • Weight (including lubricant): 110 lbs.

Worm gear speed reducers provide efficient, space-saving solutions for speed reduction and increased torque when compared with bulkier, higher-maintenance conventional gearsets. Superior Gearbox’s variodrive series is specially designed to overcome common speed reduction challenges with greater dependability and better performance.

Contact us to learn more about the worm gear speed reducer solutions available from Superior Gearbox.