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How engineers can benefit from tailored choices in robotics technology

Harmonic Drive has developed the affordable BDA Series Servo Actuator range, equipping engineers with versatility and high precision components

Graham Mackrell looks at a range of  highly dynamic, easily integrated servo actuators which offer lifelong precision and plug-and-play capabilities, this range is also highly customisable to meet the needs of the customer

Mass customisation, a term first coined in the 1980s, has a goal of achieving individualised yet low cost products, better quality and improved productivity to meet the needs of individual customers. 

With the success of mass customisation in luxury consumer sectors, the demand for personalised products is growing. 

Intelligent manufacturing plays an important role in industry 4.0, and the need to compete at a global level has encouraged businesses to optimise their processes and business practices.

In most cases, this has led industrial businesses to increase their adoption of automation systems to improve efficiency and flexibility. 

However, choosing the right components for an automation project is key to its success and directly affects how adaptable and versatile a system is.

For example, delta robots – a type of robot based on parallelograms that restrict the movement of the end platform – excel in high-speed pick-and-place applications. To effectively operate a production line, this precision and speed is key. 

Historically, precision came at a cost, pricing smaller businesses out of the market. 

But as precision becomes as much of a competitive requirement as it is an advantage, it’s important that precision is accessible and flexible.

It’s with this in mind that Harmonic Drive has developed the affordable BDA Series Servo Actuator range, equipping engineers with versatility and high precision components.

The new Harmonic Drive BDA Servo Actuator range offers the option to select a backlash-free strain wave gearbox unit or a low-backlash planetary gearbox. 

The BDA Series offers many customisable combinations when selecting the motor winding, motor feedback, brake and connector options. 

The connectors are rotatable, meaning the electrical connection is variable in its position. This flexibility in configuration makes the unit compatible with almost all servo drives in the market.

With an increasing number of modular and customisable components on the market, engineers can consider how technology can support business needs and adapt their designs accordingly.

The BDA Series has a wide range of applications in markets including machine tools, special environments, industrial robots, automation and handling, filling and closing machines.

Servo actuator systems like the BDA Series can simplify the design process by offering flexible, off-the-shelf modular solutions at cost-effective price points.

Graham Mackrell is managing director of Harmonic Drive UK.

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