Kier McNamara

Gearmotors for packaging applications

KEB has years of experience providing high quality, long lasting gearmotors for packaging applications. We offer a wide range of motor and gearbox combinations with numerous mounting and protection options allowing you to customize the selection that best fits your application.  Our gearmotors combine high quality German engineering with local assembly and customization ensuring timely delivery and a product well suited for the North American market.


Gearing Configurations


KEB offers 5 different gearing configurations.  Two of the most commonly specified in the packaging industry are:


Helical Bevel – providing a right angle output and a high efficiency gearbox (94-96%); perfect choice for economical conveyor type applications.  KEB’s high quality gearing is prepared to DIN 3990 specifications.  Gearboxes are available with solid or hollow output shafts.


gearmotors for packaging - helical bevel gearmotor

Helical bevel gearmotor with keyed output shaft


Planetary – inline or right angle with integer gear ratios, low backlash, high torque density and high efficiency (97%+); perfect for precision applications requiring tight positioning control.  Our planetary gearing has multiple output shaft options, lifetime lubrication, and pairs perfectly with a KEB servo motor.


gearmotors for packaging - planetary gearheads

KEB inline planetary gearheads


Other gearing configurations offered by KEB include: Helical Inline, Helical Offset and Helical Worm



IP65+ and Food Grade Solutions


KEB gearmotors can be provided with extra seals, epoxy and protective paint for use in washdown applications.  They can also be supplied with food grade lubricants.  This makes them an extremely durable yet economical solution for washdown and food grade applications that don’t require a full SST solution.



gearmotors for packaging - nema input speed reducer and helical offset gearbox

KEB helical offset gearbox. Great space saver for tight applications allowing output shaft to come back alongside the motor

Gearbox Only Solutions


If you already have a preferred motor supplier, KEB is able to provide the gearbox only with various options for the input configuration.  Both NEMA and IEC inputs are available, along with inputs for servo motors.




No matter which type of gearing you choose, KEB gearmotors are extremely flexible and customizable.  They can be prepared with special flanges, output shafts, bearings, shrink discs, shaft couplers, encoders, etc.  Various electrical connectors (e.g., Harting connectors) can be provided for easy installation and quick connect/disconnect for applications with difficult wire routing.  Terminal box and power connection locations can also be configured to your application’s needs.


Shafts can be prepared for an encoder and/or brake, or supplied with a KEB encoder and spring applied brake.  KEB spring-applied brakes are very flexible with options including manual hand release, microswitch for engagement verification and/or wear monitoring, high energy friction linings for applications requiring repeated stops of large loads, IP65 protection for washdown or outdoor applications, along with many more options.  With over 45 years of experience making spring applied motor brakes KEB is able to offer just about any configuration you could require to pair with our gearmotors.


gearmotors for packaging - motor with brake and hand release lever

KEB motor with brake and hand release lever



KEB’s high quality, customizable gearmotor offering makes us well equipped to handle all of your gearmotor needs.  We are excited to partner with you for your next packaging application!


If you’d like to learn more about KEB gearmotors for packaging applications please contact a KEB sales engineer today.


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Spindle motor control with KEB drives

With over 200,000 installed spindle drives, KEB has earned a reputation as the worldwide spindle drive leader.  This post describes some of the reasons KEB is preferred by our CNC, woodworking, and robotic customers.




Spindle Motor Control

KEB drives can run both induction and permanent magnet spindle motors through the adjustment of a drive parameter.  KEB’s robust motor control algorithms mean it can run a variety of different motor designs from all major spindle motor manufacturers.  Basic applications can utilize V/Hz control.  The advantage of V/Hz is its simplicity and ease of commissioning.


Closed loop applications can be solved using KEB’s dual channel encoder interface.  Many feedback formats are supported including: Incremental TTL/HTL, Resolver, EnDAT 2.1/2.2, Hiperface, etc.  Tool change and orientation functions can be programmed in the drive.  This possibly allows the PLC or controller to be removed from the system.


Closed loop drives offer the additional feature of torque limits.  Different sets can be programmed which allows a number of different torque limits to be set to match the motors operating characteristic – ensuring that the motor does not become overloaded.


KEB’s unique SCL™ and ASCL™ (Sensorless Closed Loop, Asynchronous Sensorless Closed Loop) control technology can be used to provide closed loop performance without the need for encoder feedback.



Spindle Performance

Newer drive platforms like the S6 feature a fast current control loop of 62.5µs.  This provides excellent spindle motor performance and, ultimately, a better final product.


KEB drives are offered in switching frequencies up to 16kHZ with output frequencies up to 1667 Hz for high-speed applications.  This allows motor speeds in excess of 100,000 rpm while keeping motor noise and heating to a minimum.


KEB drives are offered in sizes from fractional horsepower up to 1000 Hp.  For 3 phase installations, 230VAC and 460VAC voltage classes are available.  Additionally, a single phase 230VAC variant is offered.



Ethernet On Board

Although KEB drives support a variety of different communication protocols like Ethernet/IP, Powerlink, and Profinet  –  we have standardized on EtherCAT.  EtherCAT communication offers excellent real-time performance, is an open technology with many vendors and members, and offers tremendous value for its performance.

S6 with On-board EtherCAT

EtherCAT is well suited in demanding, high-performance applications.  For example, the S6 platform supports a 500 µs scan time for up to 8 parameters (up to 32 bytes).  The EtherCAT process data can be used to send a home or orient command to the drive.  This can be used for a basic home start or for a tool change.  The S6 drive will use the zero pulse from the encoder to position the spindle for a tool change.


Combivis Wizard for easily configuring EtherCAT Process Data


Positioning can also be done over EtherCAT.  The desired position (position counts either relative or absolute) can be written to the drive directly over EtherCAT.  Alternatively, predefined positions can be stored in the drive and the PLC can select which position the system should move to and send that signal over EtherCAT.



Functional Safety

Along with the benefits of EtherCAT mentioned above, KEB drives also offer functional safety options.  Safe-Torque-Off (STO) is offered as standard.  More advanced Safe Motion functionality according to ISO 13849 is available, including: SS1, SS2, SOS, SLS, SLP, SLI, SDI, SSM.

KEB Drive Safe Motion – Per IEC 61800-5-2


One advantage for moving Safe Motion into the drive is that the drive’s high power does not need to be removed in certain situations.  An example would be when an operator opens the machine tool door to clear debris.  Traditionally, all power would be cut from the drive to the motor does not unintentionally start.  But this requires that operator waits so the drive bus capacitors can discharge and recharged again.


With KEB’s SIL3 Safe Motion functions, this same functionality can be achieved through our Safe control card and 24V inputs.  High power remains connected which ultimately allows for machine operation.


See why KEB is the spindle drive leader, discuss your application with a KEB engineer today.




read video transcript

KEB has over 200,000 installed spindle drives worldwide in the most demanding machine tool, stone cutting, and woodworking applications.


KEB offers various drive platforms that are suitable for spindle motor operation.  Single phase and three phase inputs are possible and KEB drives control both Induction and Permanent magnet motor types.


Open loop applications can use basic V/Hz control or KEB’s proprietary SCL motor control.  SCL allows extremely precise torque and speed regulation without the use of encoder or resolver feedback.  Ultimately, SCL allows for optimal motor shaft performance, lower motor heating and a better finished product.


Spindle applications requiring tool change or orientation functions can benefit from KEB’s closed loop drives with integrated features.  KEB closed loop drives feature a Z-pulse input and a 32-bit internal positioning module which makes homing and tool change routines easy to program.


KEB spindle drives are known for their high performance.  For example, the new S6 drives feature a 62microsecond current control loop.  Modules are capable of output frequencies up to 1600Hz.


When it comes to industrial communication options – KEB offers the most flexibility.  Over 10 different protocols are supported including EtherCAT, Powerlink, Ethernet/IP, and Profinet.  This allows a machine builder to standardize on just one drive platform even though they might offer multiple control platforms.


See for yourself why KEB is the spindle drive leader.

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