1. Transmission Efficiency: Decreased Output Power
Transmission efficiency is a critical metric for evaluating gear reducers.
While professional equipment is needed to test transmission efficiency, customers might find it challenging to measure specific data. However, a comparative analysis is feasible.
Heat is the most straightforward indication. Our understanding of physics tells us that energy is conserved. If there’s significant heat dissipation, it means more power from the motor is being used to overcome friction, which results in decreased output power.
When output power decreases, the load capacity diminishes, leading to a lack of force, reduced acceleration, and slower cycle times.
2. Lifespan: Time Determines Quality
The lifespan of a gear reducer largely depends on the lifespan of its bearings. Typically, bearings wear out first, especially in harmonic reducers.
In RV reducers, the planetary structure is also a common point of failure. Premature wear typically surfaces within a few months to a year, depending on usage.
Thus, gear reducer manufacturers aiming to capitalize on the growing demand for robots should take note.
3. Heat Generation: Precision versus Heat
The precision of a reducer depends on the meshing level of its gears. A large meshing gap means reduced precision. Using a slight interference fit improves precision but can lead to excessive heat.
For RV reducers, the difference in heat generation between different structures isn’t as pronounced.
However, for harmonic reducers, heat generation varies significantly between brands. Among them, HD stands out as the only manufacturer that can achieve high precision while minimizing heat.
4. Precision: A Key Metric for Gear Reducers
Two types of precision are covered here: angular transmission accuracy, which is always indicated in reducer manuals and affects the robot’s absolute positioning accuracy; and repeatability accuracy, which isn’t listed in manuals but influences the robot’s repetitive positioning accuracy.
Gear reducer manufacturers generally have specialized equipment for measuring angular transmission accuracy, but customers can also develop simple methods for testing. The same goes for repeatability accuracy.
5. Oil Leakage: How to Distinguish Between Real and False Leakages?
Regardless of the reducer type, oil leakage is an inevitable issue. The reasons for leakage are multifaceted, involving the oil seal brand, assembly, shaft machining processes, usage methods, and more.
There are both real and false leakages. False leakage refers to minor oil seepage shortly after operation, which stops after a brief period. This is usually due to internal pressure release.
The timing of real leakage varies; it might occur immediately, indicating potential product or assembly quality issues, or after extended use, typically pointing to the oil seal’s lifespan. Misuse is another possible cause.