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Harmonic Drive launches new gearbox to ‘usher in a new age of robotics’


New gearbox range from Harmonic Drive aimed at “growing demand for compactness” and collaborative robotics 

High precision gearing specialist, Harmonic Drive UK, has launched CSF-2UP, a new gearbox range designed for medical technology, robotics and measuring-instrument applications.

Expected to be worth $7.85 billion by 2020, according to MarketsandMarkets, the smart and collaborative robotics sector is particularly dependent on compact and ultra lightweight gears.

The CSF-2UP gearboxes form part of the CSF Series, a range characterised by its very short length and low weight. The new gearbox range is available in three sizes, with gear ratios of 30, 50 and 100 at a repeatable peak torque from 1.8 to 28 Nm. 

The gearbox can accept maximum speeds of up to 8500 rpm, which ensures applications benefit from excellent dynamics and extremely short machining times.

The zero backlash capability of the CSF-2UP gearbox range, combined with its lightweight and compact features, makes it ideal for use in high precision positioning tasks in applications with limited space, such as jointed arm robots, measuring instruments and various uses in the growing medical technology market.

Graham Mackrell, managing director of Harmonic Drive UK, says: “We are increasingly seeing collaborative robots being used alongside human workers.

“The problem is that much of the gearing technology available on the market is simply not adequate for balancing power to weight ratios with precision and speed in a package that is compact and lightweight.

“This is why we have developed the CSF-2UP. Not only is this new gearbox extremely light and flat, it also offers a high degree of rigidity, which we’ve achieved by designing the cross roller bearing so that it connects directly on the output flange.

“This results in a very precise output bearing that has a high tilting capacity so that heavy payloads can be directly attached without further brackets or supports.

“This has proven to be a space saving design and we’ve designed the drive flange in such a way that a motor can be mounted compactly and with ease. We also have the ability to customise interfaces to suit customer requirements.”