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High-precision planetary gearboxes made in Switzerland

High-precision planetary gearboxes made in Switzerland
When satellites revolve around the sun, drive specialists and mechanical engineers inevitably think of planetary gearheads – the units with which speed-torque conversion can be performed with utmost precision. Within the Fasulhaber Group, Swiss workmanship is a key component in the production of all geared parts. Rolla Microgear AG produces gears, output shafts, intermediate drives and pinions made of various materials at their facilities in Grenchen. The region around Lake Biel is known as “Precision Valley” for good reason. It is the centre for watches and precision engineering in Switzerland.

Rolla Microgear has belonged to the Faulhaber Group since 2007 and, with more than 50 years of experience, is considered an expert in all matters related to gearing. “On the one hand, we supply precision parts for FAULHABER gearheads and, on the other, are a partner for other customers. In this case we produce for example for them the gears that connect motors to their application explains Michaël Raymond, COO and plant manager at Rolla Microgear.

High-precision planetary gearboxes made in Switzerland

Planetary gear units offer the advantage that high torques can be transmitted a compact design with the load distributed to several planetary gears.

Normal practice often involves ordering gear motors that are appropriately designed for the application, which Faulhaber then delivers ready-for-installation. “Many customers must themselves, however, still procure the pinion as the interface to the machine/application and then install it on the shaft”, Raymond reports from experience. “In this regard, we would like to be able to recommend ourselves in the future even more as a complete supplier and actually deliver the complete drive train – including mechanical interface – together with Faulhaber.”

High-precision planetary gearboxes made in Switzerland

The precision engineering specialist is well prepared for individual gear wheel and pinion adjustments. After all, the Swiss produce more than ten million components each year for Faulhaber transmissions alone.


Rolla Microgear is ideally equipped for these custom adaptations to gears and sprockets. The Swiss firm produces more than ten million components for Faulhaber gearheads alone. Typical gear series are produced in quantities of between 1000 and one million pieces, with diameters between one and 15 millimetres. The Rolla Microgear machine park is always state-of-the-art, forming the basis for the manufacture of small components made of brass, hardened steel or even stainless steel with maximum precision and repeatability. “Microgears are a Swiss speciality”, Michaël Raymond proudly remarks. The associated expectations extend further, from production to testing. In the “Precision Valley”, the 100% Faulhaber subsidiary monitors the products not only optically, but also with measurement methods that are much more precise, such as the double flank test. 

Even during the selection of materials for the high-precision geared parts, Rolla Microgear leaves nothing to chance. The blanks, which are transformed into their final gear shape in the gear cutting machines, likewise have their origin in the Faulhaber Group and are produced from metal bars using long automatic lathes. “So-called Swiss-type turning machines.”
After turning the blank and subsequent milling the gear geometry in Grenchen near Lake Biel, the parts are far from ready for installation in a Faulhaber gearhead. Rolla Microgear’s portfolio of possibilities also includes the heat treatment of the components and surface coating processes. The parts do not reach the shipping department until the profiles are within the strict tolerance standards. “Faulhaber’s demands are high”, says the COO, who would therefore like to further incorporate his company’s know-how in additional markets. “Everyone asks how they can best connect the gear motors to their machine. As system partner, we have the right answer.”

High-precision planetary gearboxes made in Switzerland

The gears, output shafts, intermediate drives or pinions required for the compact planetary gear units come from Switzerland


Source: Faulhaber

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