Energy Efficient Drives for Robots: New Technology Supports Greater Sustainability
Stäubli RoboticsPosted 11/02/2012Duncan, SC – The new JCM drive technology from Stäubli Robotics delivers optimal performance, precision and reliability, while addressing the increasingly urgent need for greater energy efficiency and improved production sustainability.
In developing the patented JCM drive, used in all six axes of Stäubli’s TX series robots, lower energy consumption was among Stäubli’s primary goals. However, it is not the whole story. “Sustainability is much more than low power consumption,” Stäubli Robotics General Manager Manfred Hübschmann explains. “Sustainability begins with product quality. Technologies that facilitate lightweight construction and deliver improved control and drive systems not only lead to lower power consumption but produce high-performance robots that offer the shortest cycle times and the highest degree of accuracy. At the same time, they can significantly reduce maintenance costs and give exceptionally long service life.”
While most manufacturers use standard Japanese products for their robot drive components, Stäubli employs drive technology designed entirely in-house. This means that Stäubli is not dependent on standard, off-the-shelf components and can install customized systems offering superior performance, high durability, low maintenance and minimal energy consumption.
One of the most innovative features of the JCM drive is the integration of the motor and gearbox into a single component – a solution that results in a dramatic improvement in efficiency and a 20% - 40% reduction in energy consumption compared to its predecessor.
The integrated drive design also cuts service and maintenance costs by nearly 50%. Long maintenance-free intervals serve to protect the environment from pollution and conserve resources. Further, the use of wear-free gearboxes considerably extends the robot’s lifecycle.
Being backlash-free, JCM drive units also set new standards for speed and accuracy, enabling Stäubli’s TX robots to execute more than 100 picks per minute. This level of performance results in higher productivity, shorter run times, and consequent savings across entire systems.
While Stäubli has made considerable advancements in drive technology with the next-generation JCM, this has not been its only focus. As Hübschmann said, “With regard to the performance and efficiency of our high-speed robots, it is the total package that counts. Therefore lightweight materials and control technology plus other elements have a crucial role to play. We are currently working on promising developments in these areas.”
Stäubli is engaged in ongoing efforts to develop technologies that make manufacturing more sustainable, both as a responsible corporate citizen, and as a partner of Blue Competence. Launched by the VDMA (German Engineering Federation), Blue Competence is global initiative that unites organizations from diverse industries around the common goals of protecting the environment and conserving resources while working more efficiently. For more information, visit www.bluecompetence.net.
Stäubli is a mechatronics solutions provider with three dedicated divisions: Robotics, Connectors and Textile Machinery. With a workforce of 3000, Stäubli has a presence in 25 countries and agents in 50 countries around the world.