A gearbox is more than the sum of its parts. Therefore, in order to accurately design long-lasting gear systems, it is essential to analyse all real-life influences that might be placed upon the components, as Dr Tobias Schulze of DriveConcepts explains.

The accurate calculation and design of gearbox systems, particularly those comprising planetary gears, can only be carried out following the consideration of all influences upon the entire drive train and analysis of relevant machine elements. In this context, the gearbox is more than the sum of its parts.

Relevant interactions must be considered under real-life conditions. Standardised calculations ensure the safe dimensioning of the machine elements, but realistic load assumptions must be completed through extended analysis of the load distribution, flank pressure, root stress, transmission error and contact temperature.

"Essential to gear development is the continuous analysis, result conditioning and data maintenance of a gear’s life cycle."

In DriveConcepts’ view, taking into consideration such interactions and using lightweight construction results in gearbox designs with high load capacity and power density. At the same time, the company has very high expectations of its gears’ reliability, offering a diverse range of planetary gears for specific applications. Gears with one or more stages and gearbox inputs/outputs are provided, along with different types of toothings, and spur, helical and double helical gears. Roller and sliding bearings are used tosecurely mount shafts and gearings, (see figure).

Analysed and designed on a case-by-case basis

The thorough consideration and analysis of issues and interactions – such as, say, maximum and dynamic loads under different load situations – often presents the manufacturer with particular additional design criteria. Experience of drive drains with stiff foundations and constant external loads are not directly applicable under such circumstances due to the unique boundary conditions, dynamic excitation of the structure and ever-changing external conditions involved.
It must be stressed that any resulting problems or damages cannot solely be explained through analysis of single elements; the essential influences of all surrounding system components must be accounted for and included in the primary computations. Here arises the real difficulty of identifying the system parameters necessary to find a solution.

A state-of-the-art production process

This is why DriveConcepts is embracing a forward-thinking product development process by moving increasingly towards comprehensive system analysis rather than the examination of individual machine elements. Essential to gear development is the continuous – mainly software-supported – analysis, result conditioning and data maintenance of a gear’s life cycle.

On the one hand, all calculations regarding the machine elements (gear, axles, bearings, axle-hub connection, screw connection and so forth) have to be implemented in line with current industry standards; on the other, however, such calculations must be supplemented by detailed examination of load gradients and distribution in order to successfully optimise single target parameters, including mass and stiffness.


DriveConcepts is a service and consultant start-up situated in Dresden which is specialized in solving problems concerning the drive technology. It was established in 2003 by Professor Willi Gründer and Professor Berthold Schlecht. Our team consists of alumni and former scientific assistants of the Chair of Machine Elements (TU Dresden). Since 2009 we have a sales department in Dresden and sales partners worldwide. The managing directors are Professor Berthold Schlecht and Dr. Tobias Schulze since 2006.

Business areas

  • Calculation and optimization of gears
  • Calculation and optimization of machine elements
  • Development, sales and distribution of specialized software for drive technology
  • Calculations and analysis with the program MDESIGN LVR by order of costumers
  • Finite Element calculations for complex assembly units or groups
  • Re-engineering of complex calculation processes
  • Formulation and optimizations of solutions to problems within drive technology
  • Realization of technical calculations
  • Provision of firm-specific calculation tools
  • Consultant work