Harmonic Drive launches miniature hollow-shaft servo actuator

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Harmonic Drive, a leading European manufacturer of precision gears and actuators, has launched a new range of miniature hollow-shaft servo actuators, including what is believed to be the world's smallest servo actuator. Suitable for use in medical applications where space is limited but precision important, it is capable of delivering 1.8Nm of torque from an integrated AC motor, gearbox and encoder that weighs just 0.4kg. In addition, the new range of FHA-C mini servo actuators features a choice of gear reduction ratios, including a 30:1 gear ratio, which is claimed to be the first of its kind to be achieved with hollow shaft servo actuators.

Available in three gear sizes, 8, 11 and 14, the new FHA-C mini range has been developed specifically for use in medical applications, where highly accurate motion control and high torque capacity are required, or where operating space or weight are restricted. Typical applications include pick-and-place mechanisms used in the laboratories and precision machine tools and automation equipment used in the manufacture or operation of medical devices.

The new FHA-C mini servo actuators feature advanced Harmonic Drive technology to eliminate the effects of backlash, while the integrated AC servo motors provide exceptionally smooth torque curves, with output speeds of between 60 and 200rpm. A specially developed cross-roller output bearing provides superior resistance to axial and radial loads, and to high tilting moments, with a TTL-encoder being mounted directly onto the motor shaft to provide precise feedback data, to within 1.6 arc-seconds.

In addition, each of the new FHA-C mini servo actuators is designed to interface directly with all industry standard servo controllers. Alternatively, Harmonic Drive can supply a fully digital SC-610 servo controller, which features Microsoft Windows compatible software to allow each unit to be configured and operated quickly and simply.

By integrating a motor, gearbox, output bearing and encoder into a single, compact and lightweight unit, the new FHA-C servo actuators offer design and manufacturing engineers the opportunity to reduce both the time and cost associated with system design, specification and construction. Perhaps as importantly, the new servo actuators also allow system performance, precision and reliability to be significantly improved, while minimising size and weight.

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