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ECM and CONE DRIVE (a Division of TIMKEN) recently partnered to integrate ECM's printed circuit board (PCB) stator technology with CONE DRIVE's harmonic drive technology, Harmonic Solutions, to create remarkably small, powerful, integrated actuator packages for robotic applications.
CONE DRIVE is a large, multinational, high-tech precision gearing company whose products are widely used in industrial robots, semiconductor manufacturing equipment, medical equipment, and aerospace programs. ECM's PCB Stator motors are used to power fans, pumps, and small vehicles, on land, sea, and air. ECM and CONE DRIVE are working together to create additional robotic joint actuator designs.
ECM and CONE DRIVE decided to join forces because they each offer technologies that integrate seamlessly into a range of robotic applications to provide compact, efficient, torque-dense solutions. CONE DRIVE's Harmonic Solutions, which utilize harmonic drive technology, paired with ECM's customer-designed flexible form factor, enables compact, lightweight robotic designs that were previously not possible. Combining CONE DRIVE's and ECM's technologies increases motor efficiency, improves battery life for mobile applications, and reduces energy costs for stationary ones. Hollow shaft capabilities of both designs add flexibility to the combined technology packages.
ECM and CONE DRIVE designed and prototyped a hollow shaft robotic joint actuator with a fully integrated CONE DRIVE Harmonic Solution Drive and ECM PCB Stator. The resulting actuator is significantly more efficient at 2/3 the weight and 1/2 the axial length of any previously available integration.
ECM is continuing to work with CONE DRIVE Harmonic Solutions to integrate the combination of harmonic drive technology and PCB Stator technology into a variety of robotic applications including medical, manufacturing, and automation. This breakthrough comes at a time when most major manufacturing, food processing, and logistics firms are seriously considering re-engineering their manufacturing and delivery supply chains.