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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® I3.

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.