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Mclennan adds Wittenstein’s cynapse® smart gearbox for Industry 4.0 predictive maintenance

Mclennan, the leading motion control equipment supplier and systems integrator, has added the new cynapse® smart gearbox line from Wittenstein to its wide range of technologies. With its ability to collect, analyse and visualise built-in gearbox information and sensor data, cynapse adds a layer of predictive maintenance that is stored locally in the gearbox, or communicated via IO-Link to PLCs as well as higher level IPCs/Gateways and Cloud systems - enabling comprehensive IIoT integration. By directly monitoring and logging gearbox threshold data such as acceleration, vibration, operating time, and temperature etc. - where the gearbox output is often directly connected to the critical load-point of typical position-controlled motion systems – applications across automated machinery and processing can achieve real benefits in higher transparency, reduced downtimes, and improved system reliability. To support cynapse Wittenstein offers its Smart Services software comprising various functions that include a Monitor control terminal that allows graphical visualisation of all gearbox data, a Data Gateway facility to easily configure integration with PLCs and higher-level systems, a Teach-In facility for straightforward set-up of gearbox threshold values, and an Anomaly Check facility that detects nonconformity in the process or the component behaviour.


The cynapse option is built into the gearbox housing and although not available as a retrofit, customers requiring upgraded predictive maintenance requirements can easily swap out existing gearboxes. A single IO-Link connector interfaces the gearbox allowing retrieval of sensor information which includes acceleration in X, Y and Z spatial axes as RMS and Peak-to-Peak values as well as temperature and runtime. Derived information and events such as vibration levels, gearbox orientation, ambient temperature, operational duty time, and more are thus made available via commands through IO-Link. This data can be compared alongside the expected lifetime predictions and maintenance periods for the specific application to realise comprehensive predictive maintenance for individual motion system axes. The sensor data is always stored and retained within the gearbox, so is available in case of power loss or where further analysis might be required.

Mclennan has a long and successful distribution partnership with Wittenstein where the German manufacturer’s low-backlash planetary gearboxes, servo gearheads and complete drive units have been integrated in numerous motion systems. Well regarded across many application areas including machine and plant construction, automation and robotics, food and beverage, packaging, and more, Wittenstein’s products are characterised by their exceptional power density, compactness, high build quality, and extreme precision for dynamic position control tasks. A wide range of output shaft and mechanical interfacing options including rack and pinion components assure maximum application flexibility.   

For more information on cynapse, Wittenstein’s range of gearboxes and Mclennan’s broad range of stepper and servo-based motion and mechatronics components and systems solutions, call +44 (0) 1252 531444, email  or visit