RESEARCH PAPERS: Mechanisms Papers

Energy Efficient Cam-Follower Systems

[+] Author and Article Information
F. Freudenstein, M. Mayourian

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, N.Y. 10027

E. R. Maki

Mechanical Research Department, General Motors Research Laboratories, Warren, Mich. 48090

J. Mech., Trans., and Automation 105(4), 681-685 (Dec 01, 1983) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3258534 History: Received December 02, 1982; Online November 19, 2009


The energy loss in cam-follower systems due to friction between moving parts can be a significant contributor to the power loss in machinery. Considering the total number of cam-operated machines in manufacturing and other operations, the energy savings obtainable by improving the efficiency of the average cam-follower system by even a small percentage would be significant. In this investigation a new rating factor—an energy-loss coefficient proportional to the energy loss at the cam-follower interface—has been defined and evaluated. The rating factor relates to energy efficiency in a manner analogous to the way in which the well-known rating factors for velocity, acceleration, and shock relate to the kinematic characteristics of the cam-follower system. Two cam-follower configurations have been considered: 1) a follower motion governed by both cam and return spring, and 2) a follower positively driven by the cam. In both cases it was found that cam curves with identical rise and rise times can differ substantially in energy efficiency thereby demonstrating the significance of an energy-optimization strategy in the design of cam-follower systems. The nature of the functional dependence of the energy loss on system parameters has been identified and a minimum energy-loss limit established.

Copyright © 1983 by ASME
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