Gearmotors are available in a variety of styles, packages, and options. There are two standard methods for picking a gearmotor. One is simply selecting a pre-engineered unit and the other is choosing a motor and gearbox separately and then assembling them into one finished unit.
So the question is, when to pick a pre-engineered gearmotor and when to assemble one from separate components? The answer is partly application specific, partly a matter of resources.
Regardless of which method you choose, there are some things common to both approaches. In either case, it helps to know as much about your specific application needs as possible. For example, speed and torque requirements as well as mechanical issues like mounting configuration and orientation, and thermal considerations too.
There are a few key factors that typically determine when to go pre-engineered and when not to. Going the pre-engineered route is best if you lack time or engineering resources or if you need a quick solution, not a long selection process.
One of the biggest advantage of selecting a pre-engineered gearmotor is that the manufacturer you purchase from has done most of the work for you already. A lot of the uncertainty has been dealt with. So there’s no need to pick a motor and gearbox separately and assemble them together and hope that you’ve done your homework correctly. Going the pre-engineered route saves engineering time and resources, eliminates complexity, and reduces design risk.
What about the alternate route, selecting a separate motor and gearing and assembling them together? There are a number of reasons to consider this route. One may be cost. That is, it may be less expensive than choosing a pre-engineered gearmotor from a manufacturer. Another reason may be that the application is unique and you believe you can best design the perfect gearmotor for the application. This would also give you the most control over the final design.
To learn more about selecting a gearmotor, including a detailed look at both methods mentioned above, check out the article: How to Select a Gearmotor in Four Simple Steps.