types of gearbox

Gear Up for Knowledge: Exploring Different Types of Gearbox

A gearbox is a mechanical device that transfers power from an engine or an electric motor, to another load like wheels or a conveyor belt. It does this at varying speeds or levels of force. They are used in many things. From cars to big machines in factories. Gearboxes have many types that are designed for specific tasks. And they all require different types of maintenance.

Cars include two main types of gearboxes: manual and automatic. It is an often debated topic about which type of gear is better. When you buy a car, the salesperson might use words like DCT, AMT, and CVT IMT, which can be confusing.

If you find all this gearbox talk puzzling, we’re here to help. In this article we will explain each type in a way that’s easy to understand. This will help you decide between automatic and manual, based on your needs.

Additionally, let’s talk about some common types of gearboxes:

Manual gearbox

In a manual gearbox the driver is in charge of the disbursement of power and torque at different speeds. In this transmission system, the driver has to change gears manually to give the required power and torque to the wheels. They have to use the clutch to switch between gears. This helps smoothly transfer power to the next gear. Using the clutch is also important to keep the engine from stalling when trying to stop the car.

Even though manual gearboxes can be complicated to use, they have some great benefits. Their manufacturing is cheap as well as easy to maintain. Plus, gear shifting helps to increase the driver’s involvement. This keeps the delivery power of the vehicle in the driver’s hands.

Although, the manual types of gearbox have mostly been the same over the years. Some car companies changed it by getting rid of the clutch. This brings us to IMT.


Hyundai mostly uses IMT, which stands for Intelligent Manual Transmission. This is used in their small cars and SUVs. It is similar to a manual gearbox, but it does not have the clutch pedal. Instead, there are actuators (and some software) that automatically control the clutch when you shift gears manually. So, all you have to do as the driver is move the gear stick, and the car does the shifting for you without needing a clutch.

Automatic Gearbox

While manual types of gearboxes are fun, many drivers do not prefer them. In congested urban roads with never ending traffic jams, a manual gearbox can become a lot more cumbersome. As such, automatic gearboxes have become quite popular in the past few years.

In automatic types of gearbox, a computer takes care of changing the gears while the driver simply accelerates or brakes. No manual intervention is necessary to alter the speed of the car.

Under this category, there are several technologies that either prioritize the gearbox’s cost, performance or ease of use. Here’s a look at all of them.

Different Types Of Automatic Gearboxes

AMT (Automated Manual Transmission)

It is the simplest form of an automatic gearbox. It’s a manual transmission system where a computer takes care of the gear shifting and clutch. Manufacturers pre-program an ECU to shift gears at a certain RPM across all speeds. Hence, it eliminates the need for manual intervention. AMT systems are cheaper to buy and easy to maintain. Furthermore, users know them for inconsistent shift performance. Despite this, AMT systems are popular in affordable cars.

CVT (Continuous Variable Transmission)

It is included in common types of gearbox in Japanese cars and scooters. This system uses a complex arrangement of cones, pulleys, and belts. These components work together to change gears continuously based on the engine’s power.Thus, leading to a smooth power delivery without the abrupt shifting of gears.

However, since it uses belts and pulleys, the response is slow. Despite this, these gearboxes are considered reliable, fuel efficient, and smooth. However, manufacturers did not design them for fast or aggressive driving.

Torque Converter

These types of gearbox are common in cars. They use a torque converter instead of a clutch to transmit power to the driveshaft. This system depends on hydraulic fluid to do this job. While users know this transmission for its reliability and lower cost, manufacturers designed it to use more fuel. Also, it can be quite costly to maintain. Due to this reason, you will only find torque converter gearboxes in certain cars.

DCT (Dual-Clutch Transmission)

Many cars today feature this high-performance automatic types of gearbox. It’s like an automated manual transmission. But instead of one clutch system it uses two. One for managing the even-numbered gears while the other deals with the odd-numbered gears. This way, gear shifts are very quick and smooth.

A computer handles all of this complex shifting. Therefore, DCT gearboxes shift with little to no lag and are best suited for sports cars. The shifts are seamless and they aid in fuel efficiency as well. However, users know DCTs for their slow performance in traffic. Since the computer is always ready to shift up, a sudden downshift means it could take a while for it to engage with the lower gear. But then again, would you really be driving a sports car in congested traffic? Additionally, DCTs are also expensive to make and maintain, which drives up their ownership costs.

Gearbox Selection For Agitator

The SF-, SG-, and E-gearbox series are designed for vertical shafts that need to handle heavy loads, such as those found in agitator applications. Furthermore, these gearboxes are available in 30 sizes. The sizes are each tailored to meet specific torque, ratio, and load requirements.

High Speed Gearbox

High-speed gears are important components in many essential applications. This includes compressors, generators, and pump drives. The HS series of gearboxes provides a noticeable improvement in performance, as well as packaging flexibility.

Electric Motor Gearbox

An electric motor gearbox is used to change the speed of the motor. It does this using a series of gears and cogs. This lets the motor run faster or slower than the fan it’s connected to. Running slower can make the motor quieter, while running faster can increase airflow.

In summary, the gearbox selection depends on the particular application, the power needed, and the desired speed and torque output.

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