The A-ZZ of Freewheels

Posted by  Peter Townsend 24-Jun-2015 16:21:00

Peter is the Bearings Product Manager for the ERIKS Bearings Product Business Unit based in Halesowen.

Ringspann freewheelsFinding the right freewheel for an application can be difficult. Most will do the job – but the question is, which will do it most efficiently and cost-effectively, for longest?

One way to ensure you make the right choice is to consider factors such as the quality of materials used, the standard of manufacture, and the experience of the company making the products.

RINGSPANN is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of power transmission components. In fact, RINGSPANN components, clamping fixtures and remote control systems are in use across numerous industries, from machine building to materials handling to aerospace. The company brings to bear no less than seventy years’ experience in the development, design and manufacture of these solutions, and expertise in a dozen key industries.

A complete catalogue of RINGSPANN Freewheel products is available to download by clicking below. 

Multi-purpose solution

Known for innovation, continuous improvement and standardisation, RINGSPANN developed the RINGSPANN ZZ range of freewheels as a multi-purpose solution, able to be used as:

  • Anti-runback devices
  • Indexing freewheels, or
  • Over-running clutches.

In every case, they offer the highest torque ranges available on the market today.

Their performance owes a great deal to the quality of their construction. The hub material is of prime importance in a freewheel, and RINGSPANN specify steel or GG-20 cast iron as a minimum. The products are then manufactured to the highest quality standards,

Performance and longevity

The RINGSPANN ZZ range is available in several variants, including a grease-filled, maintenance-free version. Options featuring rubber and steel shields are also available, able to operate in even the most arduous environments. The operating range is from -40°C to +80°C.

However, as with most precision equipment, the level of performance and longevity of the item depends not only on its design and manufacture, but also, ultimately, on the quality of the installation. It’s at this final hurdle that all the careful work can be undone by choosing and fitting the wrong part for the specific application, or by failing to follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions to the letter.

This is particularly the case with freewheels, where – to help ensure optimum product performance – it is important to:

  • Follow installation instructions (especially when press fit types are used)
  • Carefully check shaft and hub tolerances are correct
  • Create keyways to the specified dimensions if required (for RINGSPANN ZZ range only).

Ringspann EV018EFM brake caliperPower-saving braking

Two recent innovations from RINGSPANN are the EV and EH ranges of spring-activated, electromechanically released brake calipers.

These are ideal for applications which require high braking torque but which don’t have hydraulic or pneumatic sources nearby. The brake calipers offer clamping forces of up to 20,000N, and can be activated up to 240 times an hour.

However, their single biggest benefit is their ability to hold the brake in the open position with only 15 watts of power, even for the largest brake in the range. This means a significant reduction in the total cost of ownership compared with hydraulic and pneumatic release models. 

To find out more about the RINGSPANN ZZ, EV and EH ranges, visit or contact your local ERIKS service centre.

Download a copy of the RINGSPANN brochure below.

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