Planetary Gear Carriers

The 2015 MPIF Design Excellence Award Grand Prize in the Medical category was given for a sinter-hardened steel planetary gear system, featuring a carrier with an integrated sun gear and three planetary gears. The miniature system is used in a single-use, portable, physician-operated surgical device. The part is an outstanding example of a Powder Metallurgy medical application, unique in that it is not made of stainless steel nor fabricated through MIM. This results in reduced costs without compromising strength or precision and quality control performance of five sigma or greater. The advanced planetary gear mechanism is used in a surgical stapler and production runs are over 250,000 parts per year.