Gear drives are also known as gear reducers or gearboxes. These are rugged mechanical devices desined to transmit high power at high operating efficiencies and have a long service life. The worm gear motor is an important component of the mixer drive systems, providing speed reduction and increasing allowable torque. Moreover, in some cases it provides support to the mixer shaft.

Helical gears are used in parallel shaft gear reducers. In helical gears, gear teeth are machined along a helical path with respect to the axis of rotation. Helical gears are commonly used with two-, three-, and in some cases even four-, five-, and six-stage speed reductions. In-line helical reducers are a variation of parallel shaft speed reducers configured such that the output and input shafts are in-line.

Spiral bevel gears are used when the input and output shafts of the gear reducers are required to be at right angles. The curve shape of the spiral bevel teeth makes gradual contacts, resulting in less noise during operation. Helical, parallel shaft, and helical bevel gear units have high operating efficiency, approximately 98% for each gear stage reduction.

Worm gears, are the most economical speed reducers, capable of providing a sizable speed reduction with a single gear set. The input and output shaft of these gears are at right angles to each other. However, becasue of the sliding contact between the worm pinion and the gear, the worm gear reducer is less efficient. The efficiency decreases as the speed redcution ratio increases. For example, at a speed reduction ratio of 10:1, the efficiency of the worm gearbox may be approximately 90%. However, at a redution ratio of about 50:1, the efficiency of the worm reducer drops to about 70%. Gearbox manufactures offer gear reducers in helical bevel and helical worm design.

Helical, spiral bevel, and worm gears are external gears with the teeth on the outer periphery of the gears. In planetary gears the teeth profile is on the inside of a circular ring with meshing pinion. Planetary gears consist of an internal gear with a small pinion, known as a sun gear, surrounded by multiple planetary gears. These gears can provide high speed reduction ratios and are relatively compact in size. Gear reducer manufacturers also offer geared-motor, that consists of a factory assembled motor with the gear unit. Figure 12.34 shows a variety of gear reducer with motor configurations.

NMRV worm gear series also available as compact and flexibility. NMRV worm gear series also available as compact integral helical/worm option, has been designed with a view to modularity: low number of basic models can be applied to a wide range of power ratings guaranteeing top performance and reduction ratios from 5 to 1000.