The eagerly anticipated arrival of an innovative solution package for cobots and articulated robots by developers in the industry is finally here, and has presented by Schaeffler at the Hannover Messe 2022. The manufacturing industry requires lightweight robots that can operate with high dynamics and a high degree of precision. Applications in the food industry and medical engineering also call for a high level of sensitivity, while the focus of mid-tier businesses is on flexibility of use and user-friendliness.
Ralf Moseberg, Head of Business Field Industrial Automation at Schaeffler, on the situation in the industry: “These ambitious goals cannot be achieved with one component alone. We have addressed this challenge head-on by developing new main bearings, motors, gears, and a fully-integrated sensor system for lightweight robots and cobots. Our solution package will enable cobots to operate around 50 percent faster and simultaneously transport 30 percent heavier loads, while our innovative concept in the form of sensor-based strain wave gears will provide the required sensitivity. This will enable us to explore other areas of application.”
Cobots that combine high dynamics and sensitivity offer much greater flexibility in use, from collaborative applications to classic industrial robots, which not only results in a much faster return on investment and significantly increased productivity, but also in stimulated demand for cobots. Ralf Moseberg also sees associated advantages for Schaeffler: “We have everything we need to fulfill the future system component requirements for lightweight robots, including the necessary production capacity and quality management for medium- and large-scale production. Robots is a field with considerable growth potential for Schaeffler.”
Schaeffler also be presenting a range of PSC-series precision planetary gear units for industrial robots in Hanover. These gear units are characterized by a torsional backlash that is ten times lower and a service life that is three times longer than the market standard, and additionally comprise a wear compensation system, which keeps the extremely small torsional backlash at a constant level. Such large leaps in development are seldom seen in mechanical engineering and provide an opportunity for industrial robotics to overcome previous hurdles.
This, in turn, enables Schaeffler to offer precision strain wave gears and precision planetary gear units for articulated robots, across all axes and payloads ranging from a few kilograms to over 100 kg, this year.