In the mid-1950’s, a young ITW engineer by the name of Oliver Saari finalized his patent application for a novel gear technology. Relative to the axial position of the pinion as it engages the driven gear, this unique approach essentially ‘split the difference’ between worm and bevel pinion placement. Among other things, the result of this new approach was the following:
- Higher tooth engagement, more torque and better packaging than worms
- Vastly improved reduction capacity and easier mounting & assembly compared to bevels
While no technology is superior in all application areas, Mr. Saari’s invention definitively filled a design gap that was present prior to Spiroid. With Spiroid gear technology, Mechanical and Design Engineers now had a new tool in their toolbox.
Oliver Saari was born in Helsinki, Finland on March 22, 1918. In 1927, his family emigrated to the United States where, over a period of 8 years, they moved from Brooklyn, New York, to Rochester, Minnesota, and finally to Minneapolis. Between graduating from high school in 1936 and entering ITW’s workforce in 1945, Oliver Saari served in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), wrote and published several science fiction novels, learned tool and die making, studied mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota, and served as a valued employee at General Motors, where he developed a keen interest in gears.
In 1945 Oliver joined ITW and by the early 1950’s, Oliver and ITW were well on their way to synergizing his interests in gears with ITW’s inventive culture, deep resources, and rich manufacturing history. In 1954-55, the Spiroid family of gears were born – and initial patents granted.
Today, Oliver’s Spiroid family of gears are proudly engineered and manufactured within the Spiroid Division at ITW Heartland in Alexandria, Minnesota. Spiroid gearboxes and right angle actuators can currently be found in applications around the world ranging from naval weapons handling systems to nuclear power plants to commercial jet wing flap actuators to missile guidance systems to medical devices to commercial & military Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) and beyond.
Do you have a need for lightweight, small, high-torque right angle gearing technology? Contact the Spiroid gearbox manufacturers immediately, we’d love to help.