Convex gears

Convex gears

Most of the gears currently in production are classified simply as convex, mainly to distinguish them from those intended for use with worm screws that instead have an inwardly excavated profile, when observed along the cutting line and from conical torques.

Our company, Officine Meccaniche Zanatta deals with the production of different types of convex gears, with curvatures and degrees of precision that can be defined in discrete steps and the possibility of having very deep bulges.

We provide all our customers with a long experience in the sector, an optimised CNC machine fleet and the use of tungsten carbide milling cutters and other very hard materials that allow us a degree of precision significantly higher than commercial standards.

What is the use of convex gears?

Usually, this type of gear is coupled to other gear wheels with a similar profile, or to horizontal or curved racks to convert the direction of motion. They are produced in various materials and can have both straight and rounded side planes, depending on the type of application.

These are typically transmission elements, also intended for use with a chain, which we produce up to compatibility with 2.5-inch steps and which, however, can also be equipped with an integral bushing. This in turn can implement different functions, such as hooks or motion transformation pins.

In our catalogue, you can find many types of general convex section gears ready, that is, available in standard sizes and for ordinary applications, but our company with its suppliers of high-quality raw materials such as C45 alloys, 18NiCrMn5, 39NiCrMo3, AISI 303, AISI304 or nylon, is always ready to offer you alternatives with significantly higher than average performance.

Our projects are oriented to allow you to choose also different types of starting metal alloys with a single design, such as simple, alloyed and stainless steels, synthetic, or other types of metal on request.

We offer you an extremely competitive alternative concerning the sintered part and the diecast, both for precision and for the delivery times for the lots, with an accurate check by instrumental and optical means of the characteristics for achieving the plate data with the least possible error.

Components designed for heavy duty

Convex gears designed for load-intensive applications must guarantee certain specific characteristics, mainly related not only to the transmission ratio, where a pair of two components determine a change of speed but also to silence because the mechanisms must produce the least possible noise.

Low noise means reduced vibrational stimulation for the entire structure, maintenance of the breakage stress linearity rate and better performance for users, especially with heavy machines. This minimises the annoying phenomena for the operators but above all the risk of entering the non-linear zone, with unpredictable results in many cases and often destructive.

This can only be done by using machinery with a high degree of precision and carrying out optimisations on the most important points, i.e. the energy exchange surfaces, i.e. the living parts of the teeth and the edges, both on the top and bottom lands.

All the details implemented must guarantee a good coupling and the necessary space to contain the lubricant in your machine. It can be oil or grease and it is a parameter that must be taken into account and eventually, our engineers will be happy to suggest you for improving your device’s performance.

Design for all sectors

Our convex gears can be used in different sectors, from civil to industrial, including risk areas such as 1 and 2 in petrochemical plants, provided of course to choose the correct alloy and specify the characteristics in the design phase.

We perform cutting for components intended for the automotive sector, also heavy-duty such as mass transport and excavation machines for heavy industry, with the possibility of reaching also considerable diameters of 3,200 mm. Each project will also be evaluated the needs of detail and possibly aim at weight reduction with lightening interventions of the body of the wheel.

In addition to the gears, you can always count on the availability of different profile racks and all the support and connection elements for your high-quality products, 100% Made in Italy.

We offer you the possibility to select two main types of teeth, according to the type of transmission selected and the space at your disposal. You can choose to have gears with straight teeth, where all the ridges are parallel to each other and made up of segments, or with a helical profile, to have a better degree of transmission.

For your designs, moreover, you can always ask us what are the types available in the catalogue, a strategy that allows you to save a lot on prices, adapting your project to commercial components and thus also enjoying the possibility of placing massive orders and seeing them delivered in an extremely short time.

We will provide you with all the specifications available for our machines and possibly the files to be used in your process simulations, to reduce the operating load for your technicians, but above all to obtain the best result at the lowest cost.

With us you can count on convex gears from module 0.5 to module 30, strictly checked individually or by sample, depending on the type of batch.

Optimisation for your gears’ characteristics

A fundamental element in the characteristics of the gears is the teeth’s depth or better, that percentage, based on material, application and diameter.

In the design phase, some elements may be difficult to predict. Our technicians are at your disposal for specific insights that allow you to optimise the outgoing project and therefore obtain a more appropriate margin.

Depending on the amount of force it transmits, these cannot be too low or too high, because the risks are on the one hand of losing alignment and damaging the component, with a slipping process, for example, if the downstream stage is loading and the motor is poorly sized, or with the breakage of the teeth if they are too high.
The problem related to oversized teeth is also the difficulty of correct coupling with considerable energy losses and an increase in the noise emitted, which by law must fall within a very strict range.

When you propose your projects to us we will always verify that these characteristics are respected and if there is room for improvement, because in this way there will be less need for subsequent rework.

For each gear, we can also carry out various post-cut annealing operations, to reduce the lattice discontinuities on the surface after the removal of the material which is done exclusively using tungsten carbide blades and low-temperature processes, but which still leaves surface marks.

In addition, we are also available for processes such as annealing in a reduced environment, used in many cases to eliminate defects related to welds and possibly for galvanising or surface passivation with carburisation.

For individual parts or entire production batches, we provide our internal verification laboratory for tests and we allow you to have an extremely scrupulously verified degree of precision with standard and updated equipment and to obtain the result you want.

This is thanks to the fact that our technicians will personally handle checking that everything is in optimal condition, carrying out the milling and reducing the oscillations of parameters of the individual pieces for your precision convex gears.

A high-quality service shall include many additional guarantees compared to those provided by generalist companies, which expose you to the use of low-quality components, poor accuracy of measurements and problems that once mounted on your machine can make you feel seriously about your budget and your reputation as a manufacturer.

Entrust us with your convex gears

If you are looking for a company that can offer you a large supply of convex gears, both standard and custom, but also offer you individual pieces for prototyping at competitive costs, contact us immediately by phone or email.

Our representatives will clarify all the specifications of our productions and will offer you a free quote without commitment for the different types of intervention, allowing you to optimise your operational flow.

With Officine Meccaniche Zanatta you have the certainty of being able to count on a leading company in the sector, which has been working in precision mechanics for many years and produces low-noise gears with excellent tolerances, also thanks to the internal verification mechanisms carried out by our technicians.

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Galvanised racks

Galvanised racks

Galvanised racks are among the most popular products in terms of the construction of horizontal actuators and translators, but also on a curved profile, for domestic applications, in particular for the construction of gates.
The galvanic application on steel allows for minimising the risk of attack by water-related corrosion and the presence of sodium, chlorine and points of accumulation of electrical charges

Our company designs and manufactures every type of galvanised mechanical accessory, with particular attention to the racks, guaranteeing you short delivery times even for large batches and materials always up to the expected stress.

How are galvanised racks made?

The first step is the selection of the material usually a square section or planar steel profile. This can belong to one of the different dimensions available, and be both simple and bonded, that is, contain weakening and distributed elements that alter its mechanical characteristics, making it more resistant to certain environments.

Once the cutting has been carried out, using numerically controlled instruments, the CNC machines, which allow different types of excavation and profile, with a cold process of material removal, optimised and handled in detail, move on to the next phases.

Our numerically controlled machines allow us to intervene with degrees of precision ranging from quality 6 to quality 10, compatible with most gears, or also available for custom machining.

Once the coarse cut has been made, a surface finish is provided, always by instrumental means, milling machine, coarse grain abraser or sandblaster, with the supervision of dedicated technical personnel.

This is an indispensable step to ensure that the product complies with the required geometric characteristics followed by tests for the recovery of torsion and alignment characteristics.

In fact, a steel metal block should not be considered as a completely uniform element, capable of withstanding any type of stress. Instead, it is a crystalline structure where the faces are linked to the presence of other elements besides carbon and iron and have different directions of expansion and dislocation that are not 100% predictable.
For this reason, during processing any steel element can undergo permanent deformations of small or large magnitude, which even put its structure at risk, in critical cases.

Usually, the problem can be considered marginal and the only intervention to be done is that of a counter-twist and realignment, which with our machines can be guaranteed up to 0.1 mm/m up to 6 m linear pieces.

In the case of particularly long elements, there may also be the phenomenon of lateral bending, the extent of which is all the more serious the larger the dimensions to be treated.

Our technicians can guarantee individual elements up to the maximum available in the range, completely free of macroscopic defects and made from selected materials. All the components are obtained with a chain that allows us to have semi-finished products with superior performance to be used for the production of our galvanised racks.

After all the mechanical processing and realignment operations, we then move on to a fundamental step that is that of annealing, a process that takes place hot, a sort of surface annealing that allows the recovery of the optimal conditions of the cut surfaces.

If an element does not undergo this processing, there may be the presence of porosities and cracks of a sub-micrometric entity that make it difficult to effectively immerse it in a galvanic bath and maintain its characteristics. Practically every single non-homogeneous point behaves like an accumulation zone of electrical charges.
In the case of contact with mineralised water or particulate suspension, these tiny openings behave like batteries causing significant electrochemical corrosion. Even if galvanising is carried out, there can be problems in the long term, in an aggressive environment without annealing.

Finally, we intervene with the galvanic bath for the distribution of zinc to completely passivate the surface, preventing its oxidation. It is a process that takes up to a few days depending on the complexity of the deposition, but which guarantees total coverage.

A thermal trauma under certain hypotheses can leave even serious consequences on the steel, while the distribution of the protective metal provides to create a very thin veil, with a certain depth of penetration on the interface. This prevents corrosion effects and the formation of zones with different electrical potentials.

Maximum consistency control for galvanised racks

An intervention with galvanisation makes the materials harder, but above all, it exceptionally resists abrasion and friction problems, if the rack is appropriately lubricated and lends itself, particularly in the case of installations destined to have to endure an environment rich in sodium or chlorine.

They are elements naturally dispersed in the air, especially in coastal areas, but not only, which can also profoundly affect the quality of metal interfaces.

Our technicians guarantee an all-in-factory galvanising process, i.e. carried out inside our production plants, which allows you to have a more homogeneous and robust surface, with a low-cost process. This can also be combined with different processes, to further increase the functional characteristics of the single rack.

All the phases of the processing of our workshop take place with CNC machines, that is, with numerical control, devices capable of verifying in an extremely accurate way the quality of the surface and the product in its coarsest and finest parameters. It offers you a double certainty of quality and reliability for the materials.

In our catalogue, you will find many types of standard racks already available for single piece or mass production, but our technicians are also at your disposal to optimise and formalise sketches and new projects, to allow you a better relationship with your customers and the accurate performance you want.

Our galvanising treatment is not only linked to antioxidant passivation of the surface but also to the estimates of the expected performance of the project. You will be provided in advance with a report that highly characterises all the elements that are conspicuous for this type of installation.
We pay particular attention to studies that highlight any differences concerning the degree of sliding expected without galvanising, always reporting any lubrication profiles that can improve the characteristics of the finished system.

For your rack’s galvanisation and on any other element, in addition, we also provide you with sprockets, gears and bevel heads in matching. These guarantee you the best possible performance for any type of project and the ability to also update the characteristics of the supporting instruments, to make the installation more effective.
Galvanising for racks lends itself to different ferrous-based alloys and significantly improves their characteristics, making all corrosion and alteration phenomena more difficult, even in the case of installation in chemically aggressive environments. It is a 100% safe treatment of long duration and that avoids having to subject the equipment to continuous adjustments and revisions.

In addition, it is an important bulwark against the risk of breakage due to the presence of debris and granules, a factor to be taken into account, for example, if the rack is intended for installation on hoppers, or for the construction of a passage or a motorised gate where daily maintenance is not possible.

For each project, we always offer you the indispensable advice to evaluate the characteristics in advance and we carry out, if necessary, the simulations to ensure that the coupling is excellent also for racks intended for use with helical profiles and not straight.

We offer you technical support in the case of installations on non-linear profiles or in environments subject to vibration, to limit the risks related to the possible formation of fractures in the cutting points in the case of assembly not completely integrated with the structure.

Our galvanised racks are available with both transverse fittings and vertical holes for mounting with through bolts and are compatible with hard rubber cushioning systems, necessary in the case of heavy-duty installation.

We also handle restoring treatment on lengthy installed racks that start to lose galvanisation, with the correction of defects and the restoration of all initial features or the upgrade.

The solution for your galvanised racks

For the realisation of your high-quality galvanised racks or the treatment of worn components, we offer a service that includes all the interventions, from the design to the delivery of the finished work, with optimal timing.

This is thanks to the possibility of taking advantage of a privileged supply chain of materials and all-in-factory processing, from cutting to galvanising and with all the processing elements already estimated during the project’s estimation phase.

Contact us by email or by phone our technicians will answer all your questions and clarify all your doubts, also suggesting any improvements and modifications both for finished projects and for simple CAD sketches, even in the case of production of individual pieces or extensive lots intended for market lines.

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Round racks

Production of round racks

The racks sector of application is very wide and ranges from precision actuators for mechanics, where very specific performances are required and often the possibility of combining products with stepper motors, as an excellent alternative to hydraulic shafts and worm screws, gates and locks, for example in security doors.

A category little known to the general public is that of round racks that unlike the others tend to be used in sectors where the aesthetic function and the low repetition of the cycles of movement are dominant.

They are often used to drive the reinforced bars in the security doors and to push moving parts in a very similar way to a piston, as well as to maintain the position once achieved.

What are the applications of round racks

The mechanical sector does not always require the use of components and racks with a rectangular or linear profile, because for example if the actuator must slide inside a hole made of a thickness of high-hardness steel material, rectangular window machining can be very complicated and inconvenient.

Choosing a square cut, to get a sliding female hole or a guide the necessary overhead could be significantly higher than the advantage.

It is much easier to drill with the right degree of precision necessary to not have leeway and then slide inside the slot an integral bar with a round rack.
In general, the characteristics of this type of accessory for precision mechanics are comparable to those of ordinary rectangular racks even if the section tends to make it impossible to anchor a support, without making an L-cut to connect it.

This is because often a welding process cannot be used exposing the structure of the material to risk and for post-processing cost issues, which in some cases makes it difficult to use it as a front actuator.

Custom-made circular rack

Our engineers are always at your disposal to design different types of round section racks for your applications, with diameters available in many sizes in quality 9.

Applications are not recommended for repeated high-frequency cycles, but only for slow movements. This is the classic case of the barrier bars used in security doors and controlled directly with a gear with a few steps of de-multiplication, such as that of the lock.

Our circular section racks are made exclusively from live bars of steel materials that can be chosen according to the type of application among: ordinary, alloy or stainless steel.

Alternatively, they are prepared with hard alloys capable of withstanding stress and lateral traction, such as those essential to prepare the closures of security doors.
You can reach 6 linear metres for the length of our rack bars with circular sections, with a degree of axial deviation concerning the line of 0.1 mm/m for special applications. This is a high degree of accuracy for most civilian applications of this type of component.

Among the materials always available in our workshops there are for example the alloys C45, 18NiCrMn5, 39NiCrMo3, AISI 303, and AISI304, but upon request, you can provide alternative processing to meet special needs. The data are always available for each verification and you can ask us the current and expected availability, to direct your projects already on the way to success.

Full custom machining

To begin with, a coarse cut is made, using a CNC disc milling cutter that opens the slots necessary for subsequent processing. In many cases, this step is the only one really relevant in the processing, while the others can safely be considered finishes.
This technique is preferred strictly at low temperatures and with forced lubrication with synthetic products of medium viscosity, for the removal of the chip and the lowering of the temperature so as not to damage the crystallographic structure of the alloy and preserve its salient characteristics intact.

Due to their functions, in the production of round racks, it is typically avoided to exceed a certain thickness, which depends on the diameter of the bar and the project, but with the same size as the starting piece, a round rack has less pronounced and possibly less narrow teeth.

After removing the excess material, the surface is reworked, and although the temperature is kept low, the metal has still been damaged and can present certain tendencies to oxidation and include carbides.

For this reason, passivation is carried out in a reduced environment with annealing, even if it is not a necessary step in all cases.

Finally, if necessary, galvanisation is provided, which is not recommended in many applications, or a chrome plating treatment, to further passivate the surface and make it even more beautiful from an aesthetic point of view.

Total project support

For any type of project, in particular, if the cylindrical section rack bar must guarantee certain performances, our technicians will carry out an additional check-up for you to verify that your CAD file corresponds to a possible result and in case they will propose groups of more or less important changes to offer you the security of the finished product you want.

There may be some factors difficult to estimate in the conceptual phase if you are not strictly an expert in the field such as the maximum recommended removal amount or the roughness characteristics of the post-cut surface, which can give problems in the case of use with stepper motor actuators.

If the processing is not carried out correctly, in fact, very simply the bar on which the profile is mounted becomes noisy at every movement, screeches and vibrates and this can have bad consequences. Particularly when there are bolts and coupling screws not reachable.

Noise is closely related to the presence of vibrations that can also reach considerable entities and get the metal out of the linearity zone, causing damage or excessive stress, a complex to be disposed of in particular if the cycles are repeated and frequent.

All these tests are in any case carried out by our designers when opening the file with the simulation programs and, if necessary, additional numerical checks are also carried out, of which you will be provided with results to be able to use them in your subsequent projects.

Our company is available both for machining for individual pieces, for example, if you decide to produce an experimental prototype, or if you only need a single component with a very high degree of mechanical precision of processing and to be able to verify the certificates for all operations, to trace any criticality later.

We are also available for the production of large quantities of round rack bars. In the catalogue, you will find many different types of circular section elements to be transformed into machined components, also being able to choose the characteristic parameters according to your needs.

If you prefer we can also carry out these processes on supports with different performance and full custom, for example, build single blocks with thread, rack and a smooth sliding part or any other type of application you prefer.

What we can guarantee you on all products is that 100% of the processing will take place inside our plants, under the close supervision of trusted technicians and experts who will take care of every aspect of their competence to reduce the failure rate to zero.

Any significant critical issues that may arise will be communicated to you in time, to allow you to evaluate together with your engineers what to do with the design of your rack, or to adapt the design to low-cost components.

At your service for circular racks

Our company is your ideal partner for the production of circular section racks of various sizes, with the possibility of quality level 9 and optimised profiles, which guarantee you ease of application and above all updated post-project technical data sheets.

This way you can check for any discrepancies, or use them for your next steps. For availability and quantities, a request is sufficient. Just a call or email to our addresses.
We will contact you as soon as possible organising a meeting, even virtually, to define a strategic project plan that puts you at the centre of the work and always allows you to receive the right feedback necessary for your company.

Thanks to the management mechanism completely within our company, moreover, quotes are 100% reliable because they are based on real data and are reliable for quantity, timing and costs.

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Custom rack

Custom racks

If for many years the racks have been relegated to being a marginal product, since the automation industry began to impose itself heavily, they have returned to be a very interesting accessory, which has seen considerable developments both in terms of profile and teeth.

The materials have also helped in the creation of new types of custom racks and our company offers its experience in the field of toothed elements for mechanical traction, creating different types of pre-built and designed components.

What are the racks’ functions

One of the fundamental steps in mechanical construction is the conversion of circular motion into a straight or curvilinear limit. This can be done using mainly two systems: the cams a bit like in the old steam trains, although, in reality, the conversion is from linear to circular, or the racks.

These are toothed elements with an arbitrary section, which is usually rectangular, square, flat, or circular, with one or more levels of teeth on the surfaces.

Custom-made racks are usually made with a single line of homogeneous teeth, which can be straight or helical, but there are projects where this type of device is used to convert the circular movement into and out with different teeth, even on non-parallel planes.

Our company produces from the live block in steel and special alloys any type of rack, with degrees of precision ranging from 6 to 10 and the possibility of modifying the design in different ways.

Racks are typically used to move horizontal planes, such as in numerically controlled machines for positioning, using stepper motors or moving large surfaces, such as gates, grilles or arms, with good reliability, even concerning relatively fast cycles.
Usually, the rack is used for limited numbers of movements per minute, but there may be projects where they represent a more compact and interesting alternative compared to other decidedly more expensive solutions.

Our racks are rigorously cut from full bars. There are no forging processes, i.e. casting, because they would require enormously higher costs for marginal results and even printing, because of this technology’s limitation, we do not make sintered racks.
The best solution always remains the milling from a steel block using cold machines, with constant lubrication at high pressure and medium viscosity, for the removal of incandescent elements and scrap.

We offer you different types of additional processing, in addition to the basic preparation of the rack that you can choose up to the maximum length of 6000 mm, with the guarantee that our technical staff and machinery will limit the deviation from the straight, keeping it within the narrowest possible error range.

With us you can make adjustments and operations after cutting, to improve the transmission characteristic of the customised rack.

Research and evolution in the mechanical sector

Years of activity in this sector allow us to create device models that can move large weights with minimal possible emission of drag, clutch and kick noise.

This element is not only important from the point of view of the environment of insertion but also for the quality of life of the mechanism. Noise is a symptom of the presence of vibrations and the stronger this is, the greater the risk of moving from the linear transmission zone of the oscillation to the non-linear one.

Here, for multiplication phenomena, you can have resonance peaks, linked to the geometric conformations of the entire machinery, which for example can produce breaks on slots, detach pins and unscrew screws and bolts, even if tightened with a lot of force.

Our staff developing any custom rack design will carry out a series of checks, directly through the design software, to check that there are no risks of this type and possibly propose a series of solutions for more or less invasive changes to your project, to completely eliminate the danger.

With us you can be sure of tailor-made racks, made with great precision, absolutely respecting the plate characteristics of the steel alloy used, robust and reliable teeth with the support surface suitably machined, also through annealing, tempering and attack in a reducing environment and a steam phase, to eliminate any risk of breakage.

We can also perform galvanised baths to order, for example, if your massive rack needs to be mounted in an aggressive environment, such as a passageway on a road for a gate exposed to the weather.

Our production capabilities are based on long experience but above all on our ability to deal with most of the production steps, in some cases all directly within our plant, without the need to delegate the rework to other companies.

So we can guarantee you not only the best quote but also the most reliable one. Our stock of starting steel bars is always very well supplied and a simple inquiry is enough to check our availability.

In addition, if there is not everything needed in the warehouse, we could rely on trusted suppliers who will bring the levels back to full capacity within a few days, allowing us to start mass production.

With us, you can create fully customised racks from every point of view, for a single piece, for example, for a repair of a gate or an actuator in your factory, and large batches with delivery times reduced to a minimum and sample tests.

In addition to controlling all the processes of the production of the customised rack report, our technicians also deal with the tests on the single piece or sample, based on the production volume and the control of the characteristics that must scrupulously comply with our standards and yours to guarantee both companies the best profit.
For each type of project, a sketch may be enough for us, but we can also work from your complete CAD project file, which we will always keep updated with a shared folder, to allow you to become aware of any changes that need to be made, for example, if there is no compatibility between your design, small details and the possibilities of technology can be crucial.

We are very interested in the possibility of creating long-term collaborative relationships. This is why our technicians and engineers are always at your disposal for exchanges of information, specific requests and project insights.

We may provide you with any editing files that are compatible with your standards to assist you in using the simulations. For custom-made racks, you can request different types of profiles, from the most common one, i.e. the rectangular section, to square, round and flat versions, for different types of processing.

We are equipped for straight teeth, that is, with all parallel ridges, or helical, in case there is a need for quieter functionality and a greater starting pressure.

In addition, the racks can be made in full weld, with a pre-drilled profile, or by opening holes in the positions you prefer, to adapt them to a specific project starting from the single model, half or full custom, if you prefer to work with a rack tailored only in detail.
You can also have different types available, so you can make both your consumer products at a lower cost and those pros with better specifications and details, such as lower noise, an optimised starting pressure or surface treatment for specific environments.

Our metal alloys and machining allow us to produce racks suitable also for the insertion of machinery destined to be in zones 1 and 2 of the petrochemical plants, with the total absence of the risk of spark.

We provide you with an optimised finish that maintains its absolute stability even in a highly aggressive, reducing or oxidising environment and even by immersion, so you can use them as actuators directly in chemical reactors. For any kind of question, all you need to do is call us and ask us the specifications.

At the service of your customised racks

If your company needs a single fully customised rack, or you want to put your model on the market, all you need to do is contact us by email or phone.

Our representatives will arrange a face-to-face or virtual appointment for you to establish methods and types, evaluate the projects and make the necessary changes for the best result.

We offer you reliable and exact quotes, based on a stable and reliable supply chain, but above all a direct relationship between our technical staff of the design office and workshops and yours.

This is to ensure that every single detail is made exactly as you wish and offer you an extremely affordable and competitive investment compared to market standards and ordinary components.

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Custom Racks

Custom Racks

The rack is a fundamental element in mechanics because it allows you to transform a circular motion into a straight or curvilinear one depending on the type of profile, with the possibility of selecting different cogs.

The most common ones are those with straight teeth, which can be considered low cost, although in many cases they are the best choice, precisely because of their very predictable performance during the design phase, together with the helical ones, which instead guarantees a better starting point and greater adhesion during translations, thus preventing very risky phenomena such as non-linear oscillations.

Custom-made racks are the solution to avoid problems, even serious ones that can occur, for example in the case of a sudden stop, or the use of high-powered stepper motors.

Customised and precision racks

Our company is responsible for designing and manufacturing each type of rack with a square or flat section, up to a length of 6 linear metres, with the possibility of different types of design in addition to the standard ones.

The parameters that can be modified are many, starting from the type of starting material that can be selected from a wide range of steel alloys, from simple to alloyed, with specific characteristics of resistance to chemical and physical aggression, as well as mechanical strength in the face of an environment rich in solid particles.

We create custom-made racks for critical applications such as, for example, with the presence of debris and dust, ensuring that the quality of surface processing and tempering phases limits the risk of blockages or damage.

We prepare every fundamental step for your creations to recover the damages related to the tears on the alloy’s shallow levels caused by abrasion. Although the tungsten carbide bits of the milling cutters are always carefully and abundantly lubricated and kept at a low temperature, they are still an element to be reckoned with during the design phase.

The other fundamental factors on which we can act for the creation of custom racks are, of course, all those related to their geometry, both with regard to the density of teeth, the height, the thickness and the inclination of the clivial and lateral planes.
Our managers start from your project, also in the form of a CAD sketch, if they are implementations in progress, formalising them to bring the realisation back to the optimal level.

We rely on the instrumental data at our disposal regarding the mechanical and chemical strength of the different alloys, the force transmission capacity and other characteristics that may be difficult to predict in the design phase, but that for us are everyday life.

Our technicians and engineers, both those who work actively within the workshop and the design office, are at your complete disposal to help you in the correct formalisation of your projects, for the optimisation of profiles, especially for those who do not comply with standard guidelines regarding measurements.

We also offer you all the essential tests to ensure that from a prototype you can move to mass production with a reliable yield profile and with an easy cost to reabsorb and justify in your design plan.

We make all kinds of changes for you concerning ordinary racks, including drilling for fittings, the implementation of joint elements for interlocking and possibly even reworking the side planes, to allow your devices to operate at their best.
In addition, you can also count on our consultancy for the creation of racks intended for nylon applications, both for straight and curved profiles.

What are the critical elements for custom racks?

Carrying out a tailor-made project means having to solve different problems, in particular concerning the amount of force available, once the custom rack is produced.
Materials, geometries and mechanical modules can reserve unpleasant surprises if you do not have a thorough knowledge of the specific subject. We have been working for years in the field of precision mechanics in Officine Meccaniche Zanatta and we have developed our verification plans, based on direct experience in this field, matured over time and with the fiduciary relationship with our customers.

The elements that are taken into account in the formalisation phases of a project for a custom rack are mainly related to the amount of material removed compared to the original bar.

It is only a simplifying and indicative parameter, but it is necessary to understand how there can be significant drops in performance if, for example, the teeth are too high compared to the residual thickness, their unsuitable inclination or simply the support base is too tight.

For this reason, we carry out not only formal checks on custom projects but also essential laboratory tests to guarantee the security you need and to be able to provide you with both single pieces and batches of exclusively reliable material.

Among the various tests that we reserve for the productions, we can list the controls for the lateral deviation, a phenomenon that is linked to the internal tensions of the crystalline lattice of the material, aggravated by the rotating machine removal and the torsion, as well as the lateral deviation.

For each type of project, especially for those at the limit of the possibilities of the machines and materials, we verify up to 0.01 degrees/m of lateral torsion, we carry out tests with our precision equipment and we provide for the alignment of the tooth crests, to avoid vibrations and oscillations, even in the case of helical racks that present particular difficulty from the point of view of estimates.

All the creations and verifications are carried out by instrumental means by qualified technicians specialised in this type of intervention on the semi-finished and finished products and that guarantees you the right degree of reliability with tolerance intervals that can be selected to work with gears from module 0.5 to module 30.

Custom-made racks can be prepared with modulus values ranging from 6 to 10, to have low noise and the absence of vibratory events with stepper and high torque motors.

Obviously, depending on the type of work we ensure you the certainty of reducing the acoustic events of engagement and traction, as well as stress for the entire system where the rack will be inserted. One of the most important factors of the project is what allows us to guarantee that in case of intense inspiration, there will be no dispersions or a lack of training.

Consultancy and implementation

If your rack needs specific characteristics we always recommend you consider the possibility of using a helical profile, which guarantees better tightness and greater adhesion of the cogs. Although this system has some implementation limitations it may be the best response for your problem.

For any type of intervention do not hesitate to contact our technicians, who will carry out a quick evaluation, suggesting the optimal solution even during the design phases, because one of the fundamental factors for half and full-custom productions is always that of an active exchange between the skills present in our company and those of the two technicians.

Collaborative information management is necessary to minimise product waste and the possibility of design errors, thus allowing better use of the possibilities of alloys and materials.

We are also at your disposal for the processing of alloy steels and other metals for applications in chemically aggressive environments or with poor stability, such as for making racks for zones 1 and 2 in chemical plants and for any type of processing intended for heavy-duty service or outdoor assembly.

You can ask us for finishes that can improve the response even to unpredictable phenomena such as the presence of solid and hard particles, which could break normal teeth and any type of rack processing, up to a maximum of 6 metres in length per single piece.

In addition, the guarantee that in the case of larger elements, the alignment will be maintained within its optimal tolerance levels with constant checks and supervision by our appointees.

The solution for your custom racks

Rely on us to design and build your standard racks. We put our staff of highly trained professionals at your disposal, ready to provide you with the answer to your every need.

We can optimise your projects starting from a sketch or work directly with your CAD file, also carrying out the tests you require from us regarding alignment, precision and material durability.

This is both for full custom realisations for single pieces and entire batches, also thanks to our ability to take advantage of a material procurement service with a high degree of pre-emption, which allows us to reach the required volumes in an accurately estimated time and to always guarantee you can count on a post-sales service ready to answer all your doubts and questions.

Ask us for a free and no-obligation quote for your creations, even starting from a general sketch. We will be happy to provide you with accurate and reliable data based on our experience and the ability to manage all factory processes, from cutting to alignment and corrections, as well as the delivery of finished materials.

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Racks for sliding gates

Racks for sliding gates

Racks for sliding gates are among the numerous quality products that Zanatta Romeo’s mechanical workshops produce. They range from Quality 10 to Quality 9, based on the scale of the required precision index. The materials used to build them are common steel, alloy steel and stainless steel. In addition, to improve its resistance and counteract the wear of time, all are reinforced thanks to the galvanic treatment, depending on the application and product’s material.

Zanatta Romeo mechanical workshops work only with cutting-edge machinery. CNC tooth machines with clamps and magnetic top, the CNC straighteners allow obtaining a straightness tolerance of up to 0.1 millimetres per metre.
The company also performs milling and CNC drilling up to L=5000. Quality 6 is achieved thanks to the racks’ milling, which is carried out both on the surfaces and on the teeth, both concerning straight and helical teeth.

Upon request, it is also possible to die-cast plastic materials. The dimensional verification takes place thanks to a machine that certifies the quality of the racks.
Lastly, the mechanical workshops can also develop samples. With extremely short delivery times it is possible to have the desired product directly where it is needed, whether it is a single product or a consistent order.

As for the quality of the product, just think that Zanatta also manufactures flat racks for industrial use for even complex machinery. Since 1972 the company has been dealing with these products and gears.

With over 100 machines available to experienced and qualified personnel, the company is committed to professionalism and quality to “overcome the challenge with the future and establish itself as one of the benchmarks of the market”.

Quality 10 rack

These are the cheapest sliding gate racks, and they do not need to withstand large tolerances. Of this quality, models with helical or straight teeth are available. In both cases, they are made from material drawn in tolerance h11, but the first solution is more suitable for every situation where the product has to withstand heavy structures.

Quality 9 rack

With Quality 9, four solutions are available: in addition to the variants with straight and helical teeth, we also find racks with straight perforated and helical perforated teeth.
In this case, all are made from extruded material in tolerance h11, designed for functions without particular stresses, or need for heat treatments.
They are suitable for use with automation with low repeatability and do not require particular precision. Likewise, they can be indicated for linear drives where silence is not essential.

Quality Rack 8

With Quality 8, the cheapest products are exceeded to achieve a higher variety and quality. There are eight available models, to meet the most diverse needs. We have quality sliding gate racks with straight teeth and fully milled surfaces, an excellent compromise between precision and cost, perfect for all applications where excellent performance is required without exceeding a limited budget. It can be manufactured in C45, C45 tempered, 42CrMo4 tempered and 39NiCrMo3 tempered.

The same model is also available as a perforated rack, leaving all the advantages intact. Both also have a high level of silence.

Then we have helical tooth racks, even perforated, of the same quality, designed to be precise and silent, but always staying within affordable price ranges. The particular construction allows use even in the presence of high loads. Available in the same materials as straight-toothed racks of the same quality.

Then we have a straight-toothed product with milled teeth but on extruded material. An ideal solution for those who need the quietness of a rack with milled teeth, but with the cost-effectiveness that the extruded material guarantees. The same model is also available on a perforated rack.

We then have similar products, both standard and perforated, with helical teeth on extruded material. In this case, the silence and economy are guaranteed, as in the previous case, but higher loads can be used without the product being affected.

Quality 7 racks

With this quality, the product range increases a lot. Once again, we have perforated or normal racks, with helical cogs, milled surfaces and gears. It is a rack of great precision, able to withstand even very high loads without being affected. All combined with the great silence that distinguishes them.

They are heat-treated to ensure a constant yield over time and to make them more resistant and always efficient. (this type of treatment is variable, depending on the material chosen to build the piece). Available in materials C45, C45 tempered, 42CrMo4 tempered, 39niCrMo3 tempered, 18NiCrMo quenched.
All can be reinforced with induction hardening.

The same model, but with straight teeth. Available in perforated version or not, always guaranteeing precision and silence, but the possibility of handling lighter loads. The materials available are the same as the previous racks in this quality range, as well as it is always possible to carry out the heat treatment to ensure better performance. (Also in this case the type of treatment is variable depending on the material chosen)

Quality 6 racks

These are the highest quality racks, the best products available. The straight-toothed rack in Quality 6 with milled surfaces and toothing ensures near-perfect accuracy, combined with maximum quietness and light load carrying. They are also strengthened thanks to the heat treatment of the previous range.

Available in many different materials: C45, C45, tempered, 42CrMo4 tempered, 39NiCrMo4 tempered, 18NiCrMo quenched. All are treated with induction hardening. The same characteristics are presented by the perforated rack with straight teeth, teething and completely milled surfaces.

In this range, we also find helical tooth racks, made of the same materials as those with straight teeth, and which enjoy the same heat treatment process. There are no better products in terms of not only the very high precision but also the silence, guaranteed by the construction process. They also have the advantage, compared to previous ones, of being able to carry much heavier loads without problems. Repeatability is also not a problem for this product.

Round racks

Among the possibilities proposed, we also find a round rack with straight cog teeth, which is placed in the Quality 9 range. Made from the economic h11 category extruded material, it guarantees good use where no particular stresses or resistance to loads are required, nor extreme precision or silence. Available in h11 extruded C45, they can adapt better than all the other products in the catalogue in specific situations.

Custom racks

If the catalogue does not meet your needs, the Zanatta Romeo website also offers the possibility of requesting racks for custom sliding gates. The great flexibility and professionalism allow the company to manufacture also custom pieces, guaranteeing delivery with reduced time, but without sacrificing the usual quality, typical of its products.

To do this, and thus obtain the perfect rack for sliding gates, you will have to select the type of product among all those that have been illustrated previously, choosing the material and type of teeth, in addition to the possible milling of the surfaces and teeth. At this point, you will have a very large editor, which allows you to alter various parameters.

You can affect the module, the width (from 8 to 500 mm), the height (starting from 12 to 500 mm), the propeller angle, the orientation of the propeller, and the nominal length (variable from 50 to 6000 mm).

The holes, if any, can also be customised as desired; hole size, lamination, plug hole, the distance between the holes, number of holes, depth of the lamination, and distance of the hole from the base and the head of the rack.

It will then be possible, depending on the availability that the chosen material allows, to also select the heat treatment, whether tempered or quenched.

A preview will allow you to keep an eye out for changes to your product, ensuring that it will be produced as you wish. You can also generate CAD and PDF datasheets for more detailed views. Once the piece is exactly as you want it, just forward the request to the company. The latter will proceed with the assignment of an offer as required, taking into account the complexity of the piece, materials and quality, and any heat treatments.

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Precision racks

Precision mechanical racks

With the increase of the civil and industrial automation sector, the use of racks has seen their numbers increase considerably in recent years both in terms of production volume and the expected characteristics of the pieces.

At Officine Meccaniche Zanatta we offer you a professional service of the highest level for the design and manufacture of the components you need, with precision racks and gears in simple, alloyed and stainless steels, but also in nylon and other materials, always with precise processing, also for applications intended for heavy-duty sectors and exposure to aggressive environments.

Industrial construction of precision racks

Racks are devices used to convert the circular motion of a gear into a horizontal or curved one, according to the selected profile and the conicity of the two elements. They are typically used to move gates, shutters and other semi-rigid elements as an alternative to smooth guides and the use of compressed air systems that are not always compatible with spaces used, bulk, dimensions and costs.

In addition, precision racks are used for the horizontal translation of worktops, and machine supports and as an alternative to rails, in particular for centring and motor movement of the step type, which offers inspiration and detail that cannot be reached by other means.

Our company offers you a strategy completely in the factory for the production of the precision racks you need for your applications. We can guarantee you processes ranging from grade 6 to grade 10, both for straight teeth components and those with a helical profile, for a better starting point.

Our technicians, if necessary, can guide you in the selection of products already in stock, available with minimum deadlines and with the possibility of preparing graded quantities with delivery horizons containing both custom and design, to optimise your prototypes, make upgrades or design a new machine.

What are the characteristics of precision racks

Inside our production plant, we make racks with material removal using CNC milling cutters, much more reliable than traditional machines, which often have precision problems.

We start with single blocks of steel with a flat or square profile, in which the removal takes place, through the use of numerical milling machines with tungsten carbide heads and other high-hardness alloys, always managed with the supervision of a human operator equipped with the necessary professional training to notice criticalities or anomalies, thus preserving the reliability of our machines and your products.

The processes are kept exclusive at low temperatures, through the use of synthetic-based lubricating oils, which performs both the function of removing the chip, which could make any attempt to obtain good precision futile and that of keeping the temperature low by forcing the material well below the maximum range of linearity of thermal expansion.

In this way, you can be sure that you do not have a tungsten carbide cutter block or a loss of sharpness, but above all the piece will perfectly comply with the design characteristics.

The removal takes place in several steps, with the use of milling cutters and subsequently by rectifying the profile using CNC machines, to allow the definition of better details than those that could be obtained with a rough passage.

In this way the precision racks are compatible with standard gears in the quality range from 6 to 10 and with custom gears, for example, if your project requires this type of approach. The available processes include, among others, round, straight and helical profiles, with the possibility of also introducing perforations and different solutions to lighten and fix the pieces.

In case you need in addition to rack also any other element, we will be happy to make it for you, thus allowing you to have an extremely silent mechanism, with an optimised starting point without getting lost in long outsourcing operations.

Our technology offers us the ability to respond exceptionally to any type of chemical and mechanical stimulus, based on the steel alloys you have selected, such as AISI 303, AISI304, 18NiCrMn5, 39NiCrMo3 and C45, or nylon for specific applications.
After carrying out all the operations of removing the excess material and finishing, the precision racks will then be passed to the care of our verification laboratory, which provides several tests on the single piece, whether it is a one-shot application or conspicuous elements of a lot for large productions.

You can also establish the degree of accuracy of the necessary checks, even deciding that all the components we produce must go through the instrumental check, to have an even higher certainty of offering your customers an impeccable product with declared tolerances.

Technical corrections for precision racks

If the rack, which can be made with a maximum length of 6 metres, should present discrepancies with the original design related to machining and these are due to recoverable factors, for example, a lateral deformation or a screw torsion, we will rectify them.

These are incidences that may be present due to the different thermal expansions of the steel’s crystalline grains. In this case, we handle all the recovery operations, using temperature-controlled techniques and annealing environments, to reduce the roughness of the cutting interface.

This step is essential both to reduce deviations and twisting and for example in the case where the rack must work immersed in an aggressive solution or liquid. Eliminating microscopic cracks on the metal prevents the material suspended in the lubricant from depositing and therefore the rack from losing functionality over time.
The milling operations have an accuracy of up to 0.01 mm/m and scrupulously respect the characteristics of the material.

Before starting any type of machining, our technicians carry out the tests to ensure that the amount of material removed necessary to create your design is compatible with the mechanical characteristics of the selected steel, thus avoiding having to intervene again later.

Therefore, any presence of deformation falls within the expected design characteristics and does not affect, after milling, the performance of the steel and the single piece. This is why we use reliable and high-level raw material suppliers, who guarantee that we can have access to the quantities we want and that we can therefore always submit extremely accurate estimates to you.

Total quality control for precision racks

All phases, from design to testing, take place inside our plants and our workshops, with a constant exchange between the technicians in the processing sector and those of the design office, to ensure a feedback mechanism necessary to propose the best result on the market.

In this way, it is virtually impossible for production errors related to procedural factors to occur. Our all-in-factory strategy allows us to have total control over the production, without having to wait for the technical times of other companies and the differences in tolerance towards quality standards.

In this way, we also avoid having to deal with the costs and recharges of a single step, but above all, we can objectively evaluate the limits and possibilities at our disposal.
What we offer you on the quote is really what you will have and the bargaining margins, for example in the case of large numbers, or post-production work can be much more interesting than those that would delegate the service to more external companies.

You can have a direct relationship, both with the staff of the CAD engineers and designers in the technical design office, and with the managers of the workshop room, for accurate feedback and to know any processing specifications that can be very useful during the project phase in your company.

Collaboration, exchange of information and quality materials are the basis of a high-performance product, which offers you the expected results at the expected costs, with an accurate post-sales service for grinding, reworking and special interventions, such as galvanic bath galvanising, or passivation of exposed surfaces.

Rely on us with the processing of your precision racks

If your company needs precision racks, even for the automation of gates or in the industrial field for critical areas of the petrochemical sector, contact us directly by email or by phone.

Our technicians will explain all the details you need for your decision and we can organise an informative meeting, also by videoconference, to evaluate together changes and interventions on your project in sketch, thus allowing your product to best express its possibilities.

Our consultancy, based on years of activity in this sector, allows us to recognise various possible critical issues and help your engineers with the necessary corrections to reduce vibrations, stresses and wear on precision racks.

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Helical tooth rack

Helical tooth rack

Officine Meccaniche Zanatta is specialised in the production of precision components and particular racks for industrial applications. These are accessories that convert a circular movement into a straight or curvilinear one, depending on the main profile and can be made both straight and in the form of helical tooth racks.

The different shaping results in different performances, in particular concerning the mode of release of the bit, i.e. the gear wheel. These racks can be used both as active elements, on the side of the engine block or the piston, and passive in the transmission chain, depending on the type of use.

The main difference between a straight profile, where all the teeth are made up of parallel segments with a certain degree of depth and bevel, and the helical one lies in the progressive transmission of the force.

Precision helical tooth rack

All our processes are carried out starting from full blocks of steel with a square profile, or flat depending on the type of application and the dimensioning of the individual teeth is made according to the criterion of maximum resistance, that is, the duration against stress is preferred as the primary parameter.

This is linked to the hardness of the material, to the surface treatment that can be done in the form of post-cut annealing, i.e. realignment of the clivial planes and reduction of the surface breaks of the lattice, in the case of alloys, but also if it is homogeneous steel.

Subsequently, finishing machining is carried out exclusively with a CNC machine with direct control over the piece being made with digital instruments for the control of sample consistency and which allows the oscillations in height and width of the individual teeth to be homogenised.

This is necessary to allow your machines to transmit the force with a constant start without suffering tearing effects, which could endanger large structures and cause the very dangerous phenomenon of non-linear oscillations, i.e. vibrations that make gates and moving planes tremble, especially in the case of old installations.

Helical profile racks guarantee an exceptional seal if they are coupled with gears designed specifically for this type of application, with a force transmission capacity and consequently an absolute optimisation of the consumption peak on the engine.

The management of the current absorption linked to the starting point is necessary, otherwise, it translates, in the case of a project not carried out in a workmanlike manner, into sudden and not budgeted blocking phenomena, with a much higher frequency than the ordinary one.

Machining of multi-module helical racks

From a technical and engineering point of view, we can produce for your different types of helical tooth racks, with quality ranging from 6 to 10 and different additional machining with high alignment machines such as drilling and milling.

Concerning materials, the applicability of a mechanical accessory is closely linked to the starting alloy. There are applications where it may be necessary to use plastic, for example in the case of devices that have the first need for lightness and that transmit a limited amount of force in the starting phase, up to steel.

In our catalogue, you can discover all the advantages of alloys such as C45, AISI304, AISI303, 18NiCrMo5, and 39NiCrMo3, among the main ones, but we are also available for other metals on request, as well as for nylon.

We work for you from selected raw materials that are supplied to us through a privileged chain and that include different types of steel from simple to alloy, with different titrations, suitable for corrosive environments or with certain risk factors, up to stainless steel with various grades.

The selection of our materials was made based on experience gained directly in the field by all our technicians in charge, both the engineers in the design studio and the workers involved in the use of CNC machines.

We have taken care to choose materials with high modulus for you, to guarantee a level of fineness of the processing and above all the curvatures of the teeth, thus reducing negative factors such as noise and unwanted oscillations.

These, in particular in the case of installations with support not completely supportive, for example, if it is a case of fixing the rack of a gate to the ground in cement or brick, limit the risk that screws and bolts can be damaged or detached over time.

All-in-factory processing

Our project flow naturally starts from the data you provide us, which can be a sketch, in the case of applications that require this specific type of simplifying approach, up to the complete CAD file.

For you, we provide not only the formalisation and production of the single piece but also the verification of the actual characteristics requested by you, a fundamental factor to avoid an investment that can become a problem.

If there is an incompatibility between the solution requested by you and the physically feasible one, in the workshop we will promptly communicate our vision to your technicians and provide all the necessary advice to align any deficiencies or difficulties in the management of the material during the design phase.

All our technicians, from the design department to the administrators of CNC machines have received high-level training specific to their role, but they are also required for an interdisciplinary relationship that we need to grow as a company for the production of precision helical tooth racks.

Working in watertight compartments is the worst possible strategy for a manufacturer of mechanical components because the absence of the right degree of feedback promptly translates into problems in the implementation phase.

This is why we are always at the forefront if there is a need to create a relationship of trust and communication between the individual layers of production. Our workshop is at your complete disposal for every correction and modification to the project.
Above all, we have evolved to guarantee you thanks to an all-in-factory strategy of being able to establish with great precision the timing and methods of the machining, whether it is to create a single helical rack element, for example for a gate to be updated or for a prototype, or whether the work concerns large batches.

We operate with a production speed in line with your business strategies for maximum satisfaction, in the range of modules ranging from 0.5 to 30.

Everything is obtained from the top-quality steel surface, or die-cast in the case of specific applications, both with nylon and diecast alloys. On each batch or piece, depending on the type of intervention, we carry out all the necessary tests regarding the quality of the helical profile alignments, the curves and above all the degree of hardness and surface quality.

The CNC machines at our disposal, with many degrees of freedom, allow us to produce extremely fine details for you, concerning the lateral planes of the helical toothed racks and their elements, thus allowing a perfect matching with any component.

In addition, we can produce elements of length for a maximum of 6 continuous metres per single rack, thus reducing the unpleasant phenomenon of poor coupling alignment.
Obviously, since these are high-precision works, we provide not only for the production but also for the milling up to 0.03 mm/m concerning the lateral inclination and the prevention of torsional phenomena.

We always check that our processes, which are carried out strictly at low temperatures using synthetic-based lubricants for tungsten carbide tools, do not cause deformations, in particular when the thickness of the material removed is significant compared to that of the original starting steel bar or nylon block from which a helical tooth rack was obtained.

Precision mechanics for your helical tooth racks

For your precision mechanics work and for the realisation of your high-reliability components, contact our representatives. All the office technicians are at your complete disposal for any kind of in-depth analysis.

Rely on our accurate and reliable cost estimates, both for small batches and for large runs with regard to the production of helical toothed racks and other elements, from the fittings to the gears.

We offer exclusively top-quality materials and a process with all the verification tests, necessary to ensure that your piece has the ideal behaviour possible, minimising vibrations, cracks and twists, but guaranteeing an excellent force transmission under every application hypothesis.

We also provide excellence in the case of assembly in environments that are aggressive from a chemical or physical point of view, for example, for areas with hard suspended particulates, for which there is a need for hot surface treatments and annealing, such as to make the abutment surface of our racks absolutely indestructible.

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Rack with milled teeth

Rack with milled teeth: for efficient and performing machines

When we talk about a rack with milled teeth, we refer to a device combined with a toothed wheel that aims to obtain a continuous linear motion from an originally rotating motion.

It is a major component in many mechanical productions: as we shall see, the scope of application of the racks with milled teeth embraces the industrial machinery sector, with particular regard to precision with high stresses, plasma cutting and waterjet In the automotive industry, the racks with milled teeth are used for steering systems.

Some companies also use them for the transfer of non-fixed bridges.
The difference between the racks with milled teeth and the cylindrical gears lies in the maximum force that can be applied to the tooth and this is because no twisting movement is applied to this transmission element. The most important element of the rack is represented by the milled teeth that allow them to be used in one area rather than the other.

These adjustments follow the same rules applied to the gears to become finished profiles or pre-milling that incardinate them in specific categories.
The machining of this rack involves an initial step of creating the teeth made with a type of cutters similar to creators, but without the continuous thread towards the external diameter, to pass, to the heat treatment and then move to the phase of milling the teeth. There are, for example, cutters capable of cutting two teeth at a time with high speed: these are tools with a considerable diameter that in some cases can reach up to 200 millimetres.

Their length also varies according to the power and capacity of the module of the teething and milling machine, to obtain optimal milling both from the point of view of precision and the finished product’s quality.

Compared to the past, today the racks with milled teeth are used in many sectors of the industry and that is why they are of different sizes, as well as the modules, differentiated according to the levels of precision that are intended to be obtained.

Modules: a variety of sizes

Thanks to the wide use of racks with milled teeth, the available modules can be catalogued according to the width. Among the most performing racks that are on the market today, you can find modules that reach even over 90 millimetres, with the ability to transmit force levels of thousands of Newtons.

For an approximate list, we could say that racks with milled teeth are used:

  • to make automatic loaders or other commonly used machine tools;
  • certain types of steering gear mounted on cars;
  • production of high-precision measuring devices, such as medical devices or numerical control machines also used in hospitals;
  • some machinery used in the graphic and textile sectors.

Due to the wide use that is made of these racks today and thanks to the wide range available on the market, it is possible to obtain unlimited lengths by assembling racks with different lengths.

The machining of this type of rack takes place in consecutive steps: the milling cutter plays the role of cutting a certain number of teeth and then moves along the axial axis of the rack for a precise value that must correspond to the number of steps inserted into the milling cutter. After the milling phase, we proceed to cut another series of teeth and the subsequent milling, giving life to a proper production chain.

In the production process, the movement must take place extremely precisely; this can only happen using numerical control.

Types of racks with milled teeth: straight teeth or helical teeth

Racks with milled teeth can come in two types: straight teeth or helical teeth, these are different production methods that do not involve any change in the precise profile of the cutter. The latter is always positioned in the section of the normal teeth, reaching the purpose for which it was designed.

When the helical rack is moved along the axis, following the milling of a group of teeth, the distance of the displacement will correspond to the number of steps of the milling cutter that concern the normal section divided by the cosine belonging to the angle of the helix.

A problem that often occurs during the production of racks with milled teeth is their deformation due to heat treatment. The high temperatures cause a twist, or a curvature, called a bend, which assumes different values and damages depending on the rack’s length. To avoid this problem, high precision is required to carry out modification operations with super metals suitable for the milling to be carried out.

The case of short racks or those that require limited levels of precision is different: in these cases, the teeth are ground directly with milling. To understand the machining technique, it is necessary to consider that rack cutters with milled teeth are not equipped with a standardised profile, which is defined by the pressure angle and the module.

For this reason, it is very common that the same milling cutter is necessary to produce different racks with different precision characteristics and variable lengths.

New technologies in the field of racks with milled teeth: innovation and high automation

In the different production phases to which the rack is subjected, the different rack teeth may have to be milled, which requires different treatments such as a finished profile for one and pre-milled teeth for the other: in these cases, the high automation and the cutting-edge machinery manage to obtain the same pressure angle, the same module and two different types of milling. This is a truly remarkable result that has only been possible for a few years thanks to the advances that technology has made in the field of production systems.

Many rack manufacturers consider it necessary to reduce the number of types of cutters to be stored in the warehouse, for this reason, they make requests to the primary manufacturers to build a single finished profile able to penetrate more, performing the tooth milling in an increased way.

Only in this way it is possible to reduce the processing phases, optimising the processing times to obtain a perfectly executed product, without defects and usable immediately without further modifications.

Rack with custom-milled teeth: precision and customisation

Racks with milled teeth are the classic elements used to transmit the translational movements and mechanical rotation between the different parts of the machines and motorcycles. This factor explains the enormous diffusion they have had in recent years and the increase in commercially available types.

The main concern of industrialists who need tooth milling is to find products made with the highest quality material to last a long time and able to maintain very high safety standards. But not only that, the needs of modern industry are much more complex than in the past and require precision, resistance and perfect finish to be ready for use without the need for further treatments. It is not possible to offer generic products of average quality but racks of different sizes to meet the most diverse needs of the industries.

Aware of these needs, Officine Meccaniche Zanatta is a reference point for the design, production and sale of racks with milled teeth throughout Italy: it offers a wide range of racks suitable for various needs, as well as standard series combined gears, all characterised by a very high-quality level. Each gear is made of carbon steel standardised in modular sizes according to DN 3962/63/67 to ensure a complete connection at the base of the tooth with a significant increase in flexion and resistance.
The systematic use of this new generation of Numerically Controlled Teething. Machines ensures custom tooth milling, which meets the precision standards required by DIN 3962.

By visiting you can find a wide range of models suitable for the most diverse needs, with different adjustments to ensure maximum quality, precision and durability over the years.

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Custom-made racks

What exactly is a rack

A rack is a gear with a linear shape, placed horizontally on a plane or as a rod, which serves to transform a rotary motion into a linear one and vice versa. It consists of a toothed structure with a variable shape, which can be straight or helical teeth, with a perforated structure or not depending on the needs.

These essential elements allow the operation of numerous machineries, such as sliding gates, and apply in all kinds of industrial sectors.

Therefore, relying on a good manufacturer such as Officine Meccaniche Zanatta allows you to obtain a product made to perfection, since even a centesimal error in the construction of the rack could determine the incorrect operation of the entire machinery.

To better understand the operation of this rack, we can indicate it as a coupling of toothed wheels, one of which is based on an infinite radius, flowing one over the other by translating the rotational movement in linear or the opposite.
The teeth usually have the shape of a trapezium and fit perfectly to promote a more fluid work development.

What are design racks

The modern industry offers a wide range of standard racks, equipped with milled or helical teeth, which however sometimes do not respond exactly to the needs of the client. This is why, using special precision machinery, it is possible to create customised racks, that is, designed to meet the needs of the particular gear, making the mechanism suitable for its function.

What are the parameters to consider when creating a design rack?

  • The shape: the first aspect to take into account is the structure that the rack will have, to be selected according to its use and the machinery where it will be inserted.
    The teeth can therefore take on the most disparate connotations if you have the right equipment to make them, to be used in every sector of the industry since it can be said that no sector does not need such technology.
  • The material: usually hard-wearing and easily malleable tempered steel is used during processing to make the custom-made racks so that they can last for a long time and always maintain their initial shape without changing during use. The material in question can be simpler or made of an alloy, depending on the resistance it must have linked to the type of machinery it will compose. In some cases, it is decided instead to opt for plastic die-casting, especially if the stress that the machinery will have to endure is not such as to require the use of steel.
  • The dimensions: being a design rack a detail that finds application in practically every industrial sector, the request is very varied from the point of view of size.  Officine Meccaniche Zanatta handles designing and fine-tuning types of all kinds, both in the single piece and in the wider supply, to meet the specific needs of the customer and create a product that is perfectly functional to its final destination.  Using a standard gear rather than one created to measure could in the long run affect the fluidity of the work and make it decidedly more difficult over time.
  • Resistance: depending on the industrial sector where the rack will be inserted, it must be made to withstand more or less continuous stresses. There are in fact machines where their function is simply to move the rotary motion in linear and vice versa, others where this involves a weight lifting or a greater performance of the product from the point of view of resistance. In general, the racks of the Officine Meccaniche Zanatta are all designed to last a long time and comply with their function without losing precision.
  • Accuracy: some machines operate exclusively with precision racks, which need to be calibrated to the penny to be really effective. For this reason, relying on experts in the field means obtaining exactly the piece that you have requested, so that the work flows easily and the appliance does not freeze due to an incorrect calculation on the components.
  • Quality: the racks are classified according to a parameter that is called quality, which determines the degree of precision. Officine Meccaniche Zanatta only uses a selection that ranges from 10 to 6, giving its customers a finished product to perfection, able to ensure excellent performance over the years.  Whether it is a large order, or instead only one element is necessary, you will get a rack of superior quality compared to competitors in the sector.

How is a design rack made?

To create a rack designed to perfectly meet the needs of the customer, it is necessary to have the most modern instrumentation in circulation, which allows you to obtain a precise result and be responsive to the project.

Officine Meccaniche Zanatta therefore use CNC magnetic table gears, the best currently on the market, which allows you to vary the shape of the tooth repeating it on the entire line identical and perfect in every part.

At the end of this first phase, the CNC straighteners and milling machines come into play CNC, which rectify the position of the tooth and verify that the rack is identical in all points and can slide in a completely linear way on the machinery.

The straightness tolerance is allowed up to a maximum of 0.1 mm/m, thus leaving a much smaller margin of error than many other competitors in the sector.
The brand philosophy is based on maximum precision, to fully satisfy the customer both in the request for a single piece and a larger supply.

The operation is completed with milling and drilling, with a limit of L=5000, so that it is possible to carry out personalised work depending on the type of machinery that will later be composed. Thanks to the appropriate instrumentation, Officine Meccaniche Zanatta also reach a quality 6, the best possible, especially if the rack will be composed of a precision apparatus.

The quality control will finally be carried out by a three-dimensional machine, which revises the rack to design in every facet, verifying that the structure of the tooth repeats itself constantly and has the required shape, practically without possible anomalies even of very small dimensions.

In what scope are design racks used

As anticipated, there are really many industrial sectors that require companies such as Officine Meccaniche Zanatta to create customised racks to design, asking for the development of an ad hoc project for their needs.

It starts for example from the sector related to the processing of wood, plastic, glass or aluminium, which uses different machinery equipped with this technology and which requires silent components, with straight, milled or perforated teeth.
Also useful are the racks for portal machines, where a linear action is required that remains constant and continuous over time.

The version with helical teeth, on the other hand, lends itself more to lifting axes, where a discrete resistance is required and therefore you opt for a tempered steel, simple or composed of an alloy.

Alternatively, a further field of application is that of manipulators, which benefit from the particular shape of the teeth, as well as the latest generation of welding robots.
If you take a close look around you, you will find almost every machine a rack, sometimes selected among the standard solutions but much more often in a customised design.

Based on the quality required, then, automation systems can be treated more or less technologically, especially with low repetitiveness and precision.

How to request a consultation at Officine Meccaniche Zanatta

If you are looking for a serious company that deals with the production of customised design racks for your needs, the suggestion is to go to the studio and request a consultancy without commitment.

After having illustrated your needs and the types of machinery you use, an accurate design will be carried out that will allow you to devise the perfect model of a rack.
Based on the quantity, an accurate quote will then be drawn up, which includes all expenditure items to have a precise idea of what the final costs will be.

All the details will be established here, including the type of teeth, the quality that the product must comply with, the level of precision and the type of material that will be used, depending on the level of resistance to be achieved.

Each parameter is studied in detail by an expert in the field, forged by years of experience in the field and continuously updated through courses and in-depth information about the latest news in the sector regarding the machinery and techniques to be used.

You will be in hand to a team of professionals who will be able to first design and then create perfect custom-made racks, at very competitive prices in the face of an optimal quality that can last a long time.

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