Gears are used in various devices including, but not limited to, automobiles, electric screwdrivers, VCRs and clocks. Automobile transmissions utilize planetary gear arrangements to produce the various gear ratios necessary to drive the automobile. A conventional planetary gear transmission includes a sun gear, planet gears, a planet gear carrier and a ring gear. The output to input gear ratio is then a function of which gear set is selected as the input, output and stationary member.
An example of a planetary gear transmission is described and claimed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,295,925 (the '925 patent) to Hirabayashi. The '925 patent is directed to a two stage planetary gear transmission. The uniqueness of the '925 patent resides in a cantilevered pinion shaft of the second stage that adjusts misalignment or improper meshing of the gears of the first stage and a lubricant layer that adjusts improper meshing of the gears of the second stage.
Another example of a planetary gear transmission is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,098,358 (the '358 patent) to Igaku. The object of the '358 patent is the ability to reduce the cost of manufacturing and assembling while alleviating noise generation of the transmission in practice.
In yet another example of a planetary gear transmission U.S. Pat. No. 4,088,041 (the '041 patent) to Kraus sets forth an energy storing flywheel drive. Two counter rotating flywheels remove the gyroscopic forces. However, typically heavy bearings and strong housing portions are necessary to contain said transmission arrangement. The '041 patent thus describes a new support arrangement to eliminate the use of heavy bearings and strong housing portions.