Improve the Productivity of your Factory Automation Systems with Lightweight Gears and Actuators
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After sliding from its peak more than 25 years ago, U.S. manufacturing appears to be on the way back. More and more companies are deciding to make their products here, giving rise to a new buzzword in industry, reshoring, which represents the repatriation of manufacturing to North America from lower-wage nations.
The reasons behind the renaissance in U.S. manufacturing are as diverse as the companies involved, but one key to the trend is worker productivity. As manufacturing employment declined from 1977 to 2010, factory output more than doubled. In short, U.S. workers became more productive.
The rise in productivity is not only attributed to people working smarter but also to investments in factory automation products that have helped workers become three times more productive than their Asian counterparts. Factory automation is a critical element enabling U.S. manufacturing companies to effectively compete in the global marketplace.
To maintain this competitive trend, modern robotic and automation systems require higher precision and faster speeds than ever before. And a crucial component in providing the high accuracy and smooth operation required lies in the gear mechanisms that move and position the robot arm or machine structure.
A typical robot can have upwards of six axes, each with its own gear reducer. Gearing has a significant effect on the acceleration, positioning accuracy, and dynamic performance possible from the robot. To achieve optimum productivity, each gear unit must minimize those design factors that degrade performance. Harmonic Drive® Gear units and actuators provide this performance, enabling robots to reach their full potential in boosting manufacturing output.