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Energy-efficient drives for robots

A newly developed drive motor unit for maximal precision and minimal energy consumption

The challenge in terms of sustainability:

Each succeeding generation of robots should always entail significant improvements in drive technology. The development goals were to reduce energy consumption and simultaneously extend service and maintenance-free intervals. Aside from that, new drive-technology solutions should be the benchmark regarding precision and shorten operation cycles.

The initial situation:

The predecessors of TX robot generation were already renowned for their high performance and precision. The new six-axis models should now surpass their predecessors in performance and set standards in the previous neglected disciplines,such as of energy conservation.

Because Stäubli is committed to providing their customers with high component versatility, they have traditionally relied on their own drive technologies over those available on the market, a consequence of which, is the continuous development of motor-drive units. The point of departure for the new developments was the Stäubli's own patented JCS Drive and its excellent specifications: low-play tracking, torsion stiffness, negligible wear and tear and low-friction operation, all of wich translates into higher efficiency and smoothness of operation. In addition to the above, the JCS is particularly shock resistant.

The solution:

Based on JCS drive technology, the new developments centered around the reduction of its footprint and an increase in performance per axis. The solution was achieved through a total integration of the motor and drive. Note that the brakes and the maintenance-free multiturn-absolute encoder remain externally accessible.

The sustainable strengths:

The new JCM drive technology boasts several advantages. By integrating the motor and the drive into a single unit, the efficiency could be once again decisively improved. This development led to a significant reduction in energy consumption, which depending on the application and robot model, can amount to 20 to 40 percent in comparable production runs. For users, this means a considerable reduction in energy costs or when production speed is increased, higher output and shortened production cycles or can inspire smaller facility footprints as againi the energy expended per part is lowered. Aside from the above, the design led to a near halving of servicing and maintenance, which constitutes an obvious cut in costs for the user. At the same time, the longer intervals between servicing conserve resources, helping to preserve the environment through waste mitigation. Using a literally wear and tear-free drive can prolong the life-cycles of robots considerably without trade-offs in performance or precision. As a result, the deployment of Stäubli robots constitutes a significant improvement in production sustainability. Another advantage: the new drive technology makes the Stäubli robots the fastest and most precise in the market.

Brief profil of the company:

Name: Stäubli Tec-Systems GmbH Robotics
Headquarters: Pfäffikon, Schweiz
Year of foundation 1892
Employees: 4000