Zero-backlash jaw couplings for optical inspection systems

Written by: Tom Austin-Morgan | Published:

Ruland’s zero-backlash jaw couplings’ dampening characteristics are claimed to reduce settling time and shock loads in stop-and-go optical inspection systems, resulting in more accurate system performance and decreased component wear.

The Jaw couplings are comprised of two hubs and an elastic insert referred to as the ‘spider’. Hubs are comprised of type 2024 aluminium for low inertia and have a balanced design for reduced vibration at high speeds. The spider is made of polyurethane, allowing for dampening of impulse loads, minimising shock to the motor and other sensitive equipment. Spiders are available in three durometers that are said to offer a range of misalignment, dampening, torsional stiffness and torque characteristics. The zero-backlash jaw couplings are customisable, allowing clamp or set screw hubs to be combined with inch or metric and keyed or keyless bores.

Ruland jaw coupling hubs are machined with a proprietary curved jaw profile that press fits with the spider, assuring zero-backlash operation. This profile concentrates forces to the centre of the spider’s limbs, improving the effectiveness of the elastomer material. If the spider fails the jaws of the two hubs will engage and continue to transmit torque, allowing the application to be safely shut down for maintenance.

The Zero-backlash jaw couplings are part of Ruland’s complete servo coupling product line that also includes rigid, beam, bellows, disc and oldham couplings.

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