A Chi­nese break­through in ro­bot­ics in­no­va­tion

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By WU YIYAO in Shang­hai

wuyiyao@chi­nadaily.com.cn

One of China’s lead­ing ma­chin­ery de­vel­op­ers Qinchuan Ma­chine Tool & Tool (Group) re­cently an­nounced at the 2015 China In­ter­na­tional In­dus­try Fair in Shang­hai that they had suc­cess­fully de­vel­oped a ro­botic gear re­ducer that can achieve var­i­ous lev­els of pre­ci­sion. This is the first time a do­mes­tic com­pany has cre­ated such a piece of ro­botic equip­ment.

A gear re­ducer is a key part in a ro­botic sys­tem and it func­tions like a joint that fa­cil­i­tates move­ment in the hu­man arm. This com­po­nent ac­counts for up to two-third of the en­tire cost of an in­dus­trial robot.

“This in­ven­tion is a re­sult of more than 10 years of re­search and tri­als. We hope it will be­come mass pro­duced soon to meet the in­creas­ing de­mands for ro­bot­ics,” said Long Xingyuan, pres­i­dent of the board at Qinchuan.

Man­u­fac­tur­ing such gear re­duc­ers re­quire highly pre­cise ma­chin­ery and key tech­nolo­gies from over­seas mar­kets that can­not be im­ported into the do­mes­tic mar­ket nor adapted to do­mes­tic ro­bot­ics due to dis­par­i­ties in de­sign, ma­chin­ery func­tions and pre­ci­sion lev­els.

To over­come th­ese ob­sta­cles, Qinchuan de­cided to start a project to de­velop its own equip­ment that can man­u­fac­ture the gear re­ducer. At the re­cently con­cluded in­dus­try fair, the com­pany de­buted eight dif­fer­ent re­duc­ers.

Qinchuan cur­rently has the ca­pac­ity to pro­duce 700 sets of such re­duc­ers, and some of the al­ready-made parts have been in­stalled for tri­als. The com­pany said that its joint pro­gram with a Ger­many-based com­pany to set up a pro­duc­tion line for in­dus­trial ro­botic gear re­duc­ers will be com­pleted by the first quar­ter of next year. Qinchuan will then be able to pro­duce 60,000 sets of such re­duc­ers an­nu­ally.

Re­searchers have

said As­so­ci­a­tion, be­lieves that China’s ro­bot­ics mar­ket and the sales of in­dus­trial ro­bots will con­tinue to grow over the next few years as com­pa­nies strive to meet the Made in China 2025 plan, which calls for greater use of ad­vanced equip­ment with higher pre­ci­sion and ef­fi­ciency as well as lower en­ergy consumption.

Zhu Sendi, a mem­ber of the state man­u­fac­tur­ing con­struc­tive strat­egy ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee, said that com­pe­ti­tion in this sec­tor will be in­creas­ingly fiercer and mar­ket play­ers need to put more re­sources into re­search to meet the par­tic­u­lar de­mands of clients.

“In­no­va­tive prod­ucts, re­search-driven re­sults and niche-mar­ket ori­ented in­vest­ment and de­vel­op­ment will help the do­mes­tic ro­bot­ics mar­ket to grow in healthy and sus­tain­able pat­terns,” said Zhu.

GAO ERQIANG / CHINA DAILY

A Qinchuan em­ployee ex­plains to visi­tors how the gear re­duces works.

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