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Atlanta Drive Systems Optimizes Gear Rack Assembly with Digital Tools


The positioning accuracy of a rack and pinion drive is dependent on the cumulative pitch error inherent in each gear rack used. For long travel lengths, this cumulative pitch error can add up very quickly and dramatically affect the positioning accuracy of the axis.

Atlanta now offers “digital” gear racks and a smartphone app that when used together can optimize the assembly of a multi gear rack system to minimize the cumulative pitch error and maximize positioning accuracy over the complete axis travel length.

A “digital” gear rack has a 2D matrix code (similar to a QR code) and serial number marked directly onto it to encode the gear rack production and measurement information. This transforms an ordinary gear rack into a “digital” gear rack with smart drive technology built into it.

The “digital” gear rack can now be used with the ATLANTA4Customer smartphone app to create an assembly map. The app allows a customer to scan the 2D matrix code on the gear racks and download the encoded manufacturing information from the Cloud. This information can be used to create an assembly map for the gear racks.

For a desired travel axis length, a series of gear racks would be set out to be scanned. Each gear rack would be scanned into the smartphone app, which would collect all of the gear rack pitch error information into the mapping tool in the app.  Once all of the gear racks have been scanned, the smartphone app would sort the gear rack assembly order to achieve the minimum cumulative pitch error and maximum positioning accuracy for the total axis length.

This can be very helpful for machines with longer travel lengths, allowing for significant machine performance and precision improvements with increased assembly efficiency using standard, off-the-shelf Atlanta rack and pinion products.