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Application Story

Engineering Collaboration Increases Precision, Reduces Assembly Time


Cleveland Deburring Machine Company (CDMC) designs and manufactures equipment for many different methods of deburring. They needed a replacement gearbox for one of their existing deburring systems.

The existing design employed a large chuck for holding a part. A right angle gearbox rotated the chuck via a belt and pulley system. A second system was mounted remotely and used an air cylinder to open and close the jaws of the chuck.

Why GAM?

Based on a trusted recommendation, CDMC contacted GAM for a replacement gearbox. CDMC was not looking to redesign the system, but GAM engineers saw potential for improvement. Before simply replacing the existing right-angle gearbox, GAM engineers reviewed the whole system and proposed a new design.

“The process of working with GAM to explain our requirements and our situation was excellent,” explained Adam Mutschler, owner of CDMC, “and we felt that they were able to understand what we needed to achieve. That’s what led us to move forward with this product.”

New Design

GAM engineers suggested replacing the right angle gearbox and belt and pulley with a GPL zero-backlash robotic planetary gearbox along with a custom shroud. With its large flange the GPL could directly connect to the chuck, eliminating the belt and pulley.

This still left the complicated mechanism for opening and closing the chuck. Taking advantage of the through hole in the GPL, GAM engineers proposed a custom adapter to mount the air cylinder to the GPL housing. In addition, GAM supplied a shaft with rotary coupling to connect the air cylinder to the chuck, allowing the cylinder to be stationary while the chuck rotated. This new design greatly simplifed the mechanism.

With our engineering collaboration and custom value-add manufacturing capabilities, GAM was able to design and manufacture a complete solution ready for CDMC to mount the chuck, air cylinder, and servo motor.


The new system improved performance as well as greatly reducing assembly time.

  • With backlash less than 6 arcsec and vibration fee motion, the GAM GPL gearbox made it possible for CDMC to achieve the required precision for the project which was not possible with the previous design.
  • The new gearbox reduces assembly time by 87% from about 8 hours to about 1 hour. It also significantly reduced the size of the assembly for a more compact and cleaner look.

Adam Mutschler shared:

The new design allows for greatly increased precision and repeatability. This will allow us to utilize this improved design for the Zero-set deburring machines, but it also opens up the possibility for us to look at several new applications which would not have been feasible with the previous design.

The experience [of working with GAM] was great. The new ideas that were offered were incredibly helpful, and it's refreshing to have a supplier ask questions rather than trying to sell you on something regardless of fit.

The new design (right) simplified and descreased the overall size of the mechanism allowing CDMC to consider it for applications previously not feasible with the old design (left)

Learn more about the GPL zero-backlash robotic flange gearbox