MHI (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries)’s Machine Tool Co., Ltd. has reportedly developed new models for gear shaping and hobbing machines with highly accurate machining. These new models will considerably aid in manufacturing precision reduction gears for robots.
Marketed as the ‘FR Series’, the new products will cater to the rapidly increasing need for efficient and highly precise manufacturing of the precision reduction gears. The full-fledged launch of the products is expected to start in August 2020. The sharp rise in demand for high precision gears can be attributed to the expansion of the industrial & life support robot market in the recent years.
Gears for robots need greater precision, with 1 or below modules and ISO class of 3-6, as compared to the conventional mass-production gears with 1-4 modules and ISO class of 8-9, which are currently adopted in the automotive industry. The hobbing machines of MHI Machine Tool use direct-drive motors for both the main spindle and work table spindle. The system limits the machine tool error and achieves only 1 micrometer of pitch error. Its fast cutting speed with over 8,000 revolutions per minute (rpm) reduces the processing time by around 3x, which efficiently contributes to greater productivity. On the other hand, the shaping machines use high precision worm gears for the work table and cutter head.
MHI has been contributing to the development of gear cutting machines & cutting tools to manufacture high-precision gears for robots with its comprehensive solutions, including cutting tools to allow optimal cutting, automated systems, and processing know-how.
In 1962, MHI had completed the development of its 1st hobbing machine. The company’s track record and market contribution via its new products and technologies has enabled it to achieve a significant stance in the market. For instance, in June 2020, the company was selected to be included in the list of the ‘Global Niche Top Companies Selection 100’ by the METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry).