Needing gearboxes to drive the 14m diameter radar antenna on a reconnaissance vessel, the French Navy turned to Güdel for a robust, reliable and precise solution that would withstand the conditions faced at sea.
At 14m in diameter, the radar antenna on the French Navy’s reconnaissance ship ‘Le Monge’ is currently the largest on any ship in the world. Gearboxes are needed to drive this huge device and, understanding that these needed to be precise and reliable while being capable of withstanding the conditions faced at sea, the Navy turned to Güdel for the solution.
The low flank backlash and high rigidity features of Güdel’s gearboxes were particularly important factors in the decision to nominate the company for this project. In addition to this, however, Güdel’s solution met additional requirements including lubrication, ancillary items required such as temperature sensors and oil level sensors, etc., as well as meeting the environmental demands.
To validate the solution, a prototype was manufactured and tested in a French laboratory (CETIM) against the customer’s special requirements with regard to temperature, maximum speed and maximum output torque.
With the customer accepting the prototype without the need for any modifications, a production run of eleven special size 350 gearboxes was then initiated. These are used to rotate the air surveillance and navigation radar systems antenna on the ‘Le Monge’.
A comprehensive portfolio
Planetary gearboxes are just one part of a comprehensive range of gearbox products offered by Güdel. Its portfolio also includes high-performance angle types, ideally suited to applications across general mechanical engineering, handling technology and various process applications. Available in five different sizes, and with a choice of 13 different gear ratios ranging from two to 60, these HPG gearboxes can be applied to a wide range of applications – including those within harsh working environments.
Also available are a series of low backlash, duplex worm drive units, which are available in four sizes, each of which includes two ratios (30:1 and 60:1). These units are designed to give minimum backlash, which is adjusted through the duplex arrangement of the worm shafts. Güdel’s low backlash drive units are built for medium power transmission applications. As for all of the company’s products, this range of gearboxes is characterised by their high quality, long service life and minimal maintenance requirements.
Since their installation on the ship antenna, the size 350 gearbox systems are now in full operation on ‘Le Monge’.
This is a classic example of the adaptability of Güdel products – intelligent technologies for movement on land, sea and in the air.