Compact servo actuator drives down design costs

Louise Smyth

There’s an increasing demand across multiple industries for compact and cost-effective machinery. This places pressure on manufacturers to maintain a high level of performance while using smaller and more lightweight components. This raises issues in sectors that require peak performance, including marine, medical and robotics sectors.

To help manufacturers address this issue and drive down overall design costs, precision gearing specialist Harmonic Drive UK has launched the CanisDrive range of compact servo actuators. The lightweight and condensed design, coupled with high torque density and a 40% longer operating life than standard actuators, ensures manufacturers do not need to choose between performance and practicality.

Precision gearing specialist Harmonic Drive UK has launched CanisDrive, a new range of compact hollow shaft servo actuators that meet increasing industry demand for compact and cost-effective machinery. The actuator’s lightweight and condensed design enables manufacturers to drive down overall design costs without sacrificing performance.

The CanisDrive series reduces design costs thanks to the use of newly developed high capacity precision drive bearings. These bearings allow direct mounting of the external load without the need for additional bearings or support, keeping size to a minimum while retaining the high precision of the gear.

“The use of high-quality components in demanding applications that are capable of providing precision and reliability is paramount,” explained Graham Mackrell, managing director of Harmonic Drive UK. “At the same time, these components can lead to hefty redesign costs to accommodate large servo actuators. Mitigating the need to make space for large equipment without compromising on durability and overall quality of the product will be a massive relief to manufacturers in the defence and handling industries.

“An added cost saving benefit of our new compact product is the fact that the CanisDrive series is mechanically compatible with CHA actuators. This makes upgrading simple and straightforward without additional upgrading expenses.”

To ensure a consistently high performance, CanisDrive marks the first instance of CobaltLine gears being used in a servo actuator. CobaltLine gears have been specifically designed to deliver repeatable high peak torques with zero backlash and lifetime precision. This is ideal for sectors that rely on peak performance, such as handling, marine, medical, packaging and robotics.

The use of these gears provides elevated levels of torque density and durability, with 30% higher maximum torque than standard actuators. Combined with a 40% longer operating life, this means machinery owners will see increased cost savings on replacement components in the long term.

CanisDrive servo actuators come with a bespoke lubricant, Flexolub-A1, which coats all moving surfaces in the gear. This contributes to continued high precision transfer for the lifespan of the product, as well as making the actuator corrosion resistant and extending the temperature range from -40 ˚C to +90˚C. This operational temperature range means that the actuators remain fully functional even in harsh environments.

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