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igus® Ltd.

Caswell Road

Northampton, NN4 7PW

01604 677240

Worm/strain wave gears for robot arms tested

The durability of different worm or strain wave gears for robot arms is currently being tested in 49 test rigs in the igus® robolink® laboratory

robolink test lab Test rigs in the igus® robolink® laboratory

In our robolink® laboratory, 22 test rigs are being operated continuously on a 24/7 basis for our RL-D worm gears. Here, we apply different load/speed profiles to test the durability of different worm gear wheel/worm shaft combinations. The current standard is a worm gear wheel made of iglidur® A180 in comparison with a worm shaft made of hard-anodised aluminium. In a test with the size RL-D-20 (transmission ratio 1:38) with these components, > 1 million at 5 Nm and 12 rpm is currently being achieved in the endurance test. We are also getting very good results with "printed" worm gear wheels made of our material iglidur® I6.

In addition, there are 27 further test rigs for our plastic strain wave gear RL-S. The standard combination of friction components at the moment is an outer ring made of iglidur® J and a flexible inner ring made of our 26/31 material. At the present time, the service life in the endurance tests is 0.5 million cycles at 5 Nm and 9 rpm (size RL-S-20, ratio 1:38).

We mainly test our multi-axis arms in our production facility. Here, there are currently 4 automatic assembly machines, which are in use in two-shifts and, on average, assemble 20 m of energy chain per hour. This internal automated process has been in use at igus® since the beginning of 2017. The first arm recently completed its first million cycles. The arms are operated at a rate of 4-6 seconds for each cycle. In 2017, igus® will commission up to 50 such internal automatic machines.

What else is tested in the test lab?

In the igus test lab, thorough examination is performed not only for the robolink® components. iglidur® plain bearings, e-chains®, chainflex® cables and drylin® linear plain bearings, linear axes and lead screw modules are also thoroughly tested.