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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get asked.

Do you supply rack and pinions for cars and trucks?

Sorry but our products are only used for industrial applications, not in vehicles.

I have an old machine with a rack & pinion on it but I don’t know how to identify it.

We can help you find a replacement rack and pinion for your machine. You will need to measure the dimensions of the existing rack & pinion, including the length, width and height of the rack, distance from tooth-to-tooth, tooth height and the diameter and number of teeth on the pinion.

We normally push the pinion into the rack to remove any backlash, is this ok?

We do not recommend pushing the pinion into the rack because it can cause excessive wear on the tooth flanks. Rack & pinions are meant to be operated at a fixed center distance which allows for adequate clearance and meshing. To remove the backlash at the rack and pinions, we recommend using our Ultra-High Precision Rack & Pinion Drives, such as our Split-Pinions and Dual-Pinion solutions.

Because of the environment my machine is going in, I can not use lubrication with the rack & pinion drive, is this ok?

Our rack & pinion drives are meant to be operated with adequate lubrication on the tooth flanks to prevent metal-to-metal contact. Without any lubrication, the amount of force that can be transmitted safely is reduced dramatically. We can offer coatings to help with this, but it is best to call us to discuss your exact needs.

I want to use a rack & pinion drive in a dirty, corrosive environment. Is this possible?

We can offer special coatings and finishes to protect the rack & pinion from environmental conditions. It would be best to give us a call to discuss your needs in detail.

My machine is twelve feet long, can you provide a rack this long?

We can make racks up to 3.0 meters (10 feet) long in one piece. Our most common racks are 1.0 and 2.0 meter long and can be mounted end-to-end for unlimited travel lengths using a companion rack to properly gap the rack segments.

I normally use ballscrew drives for my linear axes. Can a rack & pinion drive provide the same performance and accuracy as a ballscrew?

Yes, our high-precision rack and pinion drives can provide comparable performance, accuracy and repeatability as a ballscrew drive. In fact, rack & pinion drives offer several advantages over ballscrews, such as unlimited travel lengths, high speeds and just-in-time deliveries. Please call us to discuss your application.

What is the lifetime I can expect from a rack & pinion drive?

A rack & pinion drive that is sized properly, with adequate lubrication and mounting, can last for hundreds of millions of cycles without needing to be replaced. ATLANTA takes all parameters and conditions into consideration when sizing a rack & pinion drive with the goal of “unlimited” lifetime for the components.

I have a custom design for a rack & pinion that I need quoted, can you help me?

We would be happy to review your custom designs in economical production quantities, but keep in mind most of the products we make are metric (not inch) dimensions. If you are flexible with the pitch of the rack & pinion, we may be able to switch you over to a metric pitch.

I have a rush project that requires a rack & pinion drive, can you ship today?

We have a huge inventory of standard rack & pinion drives which we can pull from to ship an order same day if needed. This is also useful for breakdown situations. We can ship next day air with most of our products.

I have an application for one of your rack & pinion drive, but I am unsure what information you need from me in order to make a selection.

To make a proper selection of a rack & pinion drive, we would need to know the axis weight, length, orientation, supports, accuracy requirement, maximum speed, acceleration, process forces and operating environment. Please fill out our application sheet with all the information you have and we can recommend the best solution.

I have a low quality diametral pitch (DP) rack that I would like to replace. Can you help me?

Diametral Pitch (DP) is an inch standard for gear pitch. We can crossover the DP pitch into a metric modular pitch without problems, but you will need to replace your pinion as well. Often, we can offer a better quality rack & pinion than the DP solution currently being used.

I need a rack & pinion drive to move a load of over 250,000 lb. Do you have anything that could do this?

We have rack & pinion drive systems that can handle up to 90,000 lb. of thrust force. We can combine these drives in tandem to share even larger loads.

I need a lifetime calculation and rating for a rack & pinion drive, can you provide this?

We can calculate the lifetime and force/torque capacity for any gearset. We also have extensive experience with materials, gear cutting and grinding, and production techniques that can influence the final capabilities of the products we produce. We can optimize our solutions to achieve any parameters required.

I currently use a rack & pinion product from one of your competitors but I am unhappy with their price, delivery and quality. Can you cross-interchange their product for yours?

We would be happy to cross over a competitor’s product to ours. In many cases, we can offer a dimensional drop-in replacement, with delivery off-the-shelf.

Are there any advantages to using helical rack & pinions over straight (spur) versions?

Helical rack & pinions have several advantages over straight (spur) versions. They are quieter running, especially at high speeds. They have more teeth engaged so they can handle higher loads. Their lengths are a nice round number, like 1,000 mm or 2,000 mm, instead of a multiple of pi like straight.