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NUM helps automate production of involute and cycloidal gears for robotics

02 September 2019

NUM is helping the Taiwanese machine tool company Chien Wei Precise Technology to develop innovative CNC grinding machines for manufacturing specialist gears used in robotics applications.

Based entirely on NUM’s latest-generation Flexium+ 68 CNC platform, Chien Wei’s new machines are designed to speed the production of both involute and cycloidal profile precision gears. They are believed to be the first gear grinding machines on the market that are capable of handling both types of gear profile. There are two versions of the grinding machine, one for internal gears, the other for external gears.

Founded in 1981, Chien Wei Precise Technology Co., Ltd is based in Fengshan District in southern Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The company initially specialised in precision machine tools such as vertical grinders, jig grinders and machining centres, together with co-ordinate measuring machines (CMMs). Over time, it also diversified into robotic automation systems.

Robotic systems typically use either planetary gearboxes equipped with involute gears, or cycloid drives based on a combination of a reduced epitrochoid rotor and a cycloid stator. While planetary gearboxes have been around for a long time and enjoy extensive use, cycloid drives have far fewer moving parts and offer a more efficient means of achieving extremely high reduction rates. A speed reducer with a ratio of 200:1 would typically need a chain of three planetary gear boxes with twelve moving involute gears. The same reduction ratio could be achieved with a cycloid drive using one stator and one rotor. However, cycloid gears are notoriously difficult and expensive to manufacture.

Read the full article in the September issue of DPA.

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