Compact servo actuator drives down design costs

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Harmonic Drive UK is launching 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.

Graham Mackrell, managing director of Harmonic Drive UK explains: “The use of high-quality components in demanding applications that are capable of providing precision and reliability is paramount. 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.”

While the cost saving benefits of the compact design are clear, it is important to note that it does not equate to a drop off in performance. 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 well suited 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 per cent higher maximum torque than standard actuators. Combined with a 40 per cent 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 -40degC to +90degC. This operational temperature range means that the actuators remain fully functional even in harsh environments.

Mackrell explains: “The CanisDrive is designed with the user in mind. A wide temperature range and customisable combinations of motor winding and sensors ensures that the range fits the needs of any requirement, from handling to medical demands. It’s also compatible with almost any servo controller on the market so it can provide a single source supply for drive systems tailored to the application.”

For more information about the CanisDrive range, visit

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