Planetary performance increases accuracy

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Harmonic Drive UK is launching a new range of planetary gears targeted at users that require accuracy and low backlash. The new HPN range is designed for applications including packaging, printing, machine tools, and pharmacy management as well as pick-and-place robotics.

The high dynamic performance, compact design and short delivery time will prove useful to users searching for competitively priced low-backlash planetary gears.

Available in five sizes with eight gear ratios between three and 31:1, the new HPN series of planetary gears offers repeat peak-torque from nine to 752Nm. Combined with a backlash of between just five and seven arcmin for single and double-stage ratios respectively, the HPN delivers exceptional accuracy and repeatability.

Featuring helical gear teeth, the HPN range of planetary gears runs smoother and produces much less noise than equivalent gears that use spur teeth. Less friction also reduces operating temperatures, improves lubrication life and is supported by two ball-type output bearings minimising sideways movement.

Graham Mackrell, managing director of Harmonic Drive UK explains: “Most automation applications don’t require the aerospace level of accuracy provided by our Harmonic Drive strainwave gears. At the same time, applications like packaging, printing and robotics, still need a lightweight, cost-effective, low-backlash gear that provides high torsional rigidity and high output-torque.

“We’ve developed this gear because we understand that design engineers value a gear that provides this mix of features at a competitive price point for high-volume and often continuous production environments. We’ve taken a lot of care to ensure that the HPN series is designed and tested to the same high levels as our Harmonic Drive strainwave gears. Laboratory testing measures the gears on variables including temperature rise, meshing efficiency, durability, noise and loading.”

The HPN gear series is available with a quick delivery time of 3 weeks. In addition, Harmonic Drive has also developed variations of the HPN gear including the HPF, which features a hollow shaft to pass through cabling and services as well as the HPG and HPGP, which cater for different torque and accuracy requirements.

For more information about the HPN range of planetary gears please go to

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