New Hobbing and Gear Shaping Machines Create External and Internal Gears Respectively

Press Release Summary:

  • Hobbing machines utilize direct-drive motors for the main spindle to which the cutting tool is attached and the work table spindle holding the workpiece, along with advanced control technology
  • Contains fast cutting speed with up to 8,000 rpm which shortens the processing time by around a third, contributing to high productivity
  • Shaping machines utilize high precision worm gears for the cutter head and work table that comprise the core components

Original Press Release:

MHI Machine Tool Develops 'FR Series' of Machines to Manufacture Gears for Robots

  • High Precision Machining with Two Models for External and Internal Tooth Small Module Gears for Precision Reduction Gears
  • Direct drive motors and other features used throughout to ensure an optimal structure for precision machining of small module gears
  • Full-fledged launch from August 2020, with unveiling at an online seminar scheduled for September

Tokyo, Aug 4, 2020 - (JCN Newswire) - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool Co., Ltd., a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group, has developed new models of hobbing and gear shaping machines with highly accurate machining to manufacture precision reduction gears for robots. These new products, marketed as the "FR Series," respond to the rapidly growing need for highly precise and efficient manufacturing of precision reduction gears for robots. The full-fledged launch will begin in August 2020, with the unveiling at an online seminar scheduled for September.

The name "FR Series" is derived from "Fine Pitch for Robot, Reducer." The market expansion for industrial and life support robots in recent years has led to a sharp rise in demand for the high precision, small module(1) gears inside the precision reduction gears used in the joints of these robots. Two types of gears are used in these reduction gears (an external tooth gear and an internal tooth gear), and MHI Machine Tool has added to its lineup a hobbing machine to create the external gear, and a shaping machine to make the internal gear. In contrast with conventional mass-production gears typically used in the automotive industry, which have modules (gear tooth sizes) of 1-4 and accuracy requirements of ISO class 8 or 9, gears for robots require greater precision, with modules of 1 or below, and an ISO class of 3 to 6. The FR Series was specifically designed to meet these demands.

MHI Machine Tool's hobbing machines utilize direct-drive motors(2) for both the main spindle to which the cutting tool (hob) is attached and the work table spindle holding the workpiece, along with advanced control technology. By limiting the machine tool error to the greatest extent possible, this system achieves a pitch error(3) of just 1 micrometer (micrometer).(4) Compared with precision gear cutting, accuracy has been raised three classes (from around ISO 6 to ISO 3). Also, the fast cutting speed with up to 8,000 rpm (revolutions per minute) shortens the processing time by around a third, contributing to greater productivity. The shaping machines utilize high precision worm gears for the cutter head and work table that comprise the core components. Further, strict management values in the machine's assembly precision have raised the precision class for the gear working by two levels (from around ISO 7 to ISO 5), providing high gear precision.

MHI Machine Tool is utilizing its strength in manufacturing both gear cutting machines and cutting tools to not only offer machines to manufacture the high-precision gears used in precision reduction gears for robots, but with its comprehensive solutions for gear machining, including cutting tools to ensure optimal cutting, processing know-how, and automated systems, is contributing to the manufacturing of high-precision gears.

MHI Machine Tool completed its first hobbing machine in 1962, and over nearly six decades has continually developed new products and technologies. This track record and degree of contribution to the market has raised the company's standing, and at the end of June this year led to MHI Machine Tool being selected for inclusion in the "Global Niche Top Companies Selection 100" by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). Going forward, as an industry leader, and as a manufacturer of the gear machine tools that support a wide range of industries, MHI Machine Tool will continue to lead the way in manufacturing.

(1) Module (m) is a unit representing the size of the gear tooth. It is derived by dividing the diameter (mm) of the pitch circle by the number of teeth.
(2) Direct-drive mechanism motors utilize the torque coming from a motor without passing through a gear box or other mechanism, in order to control driving loss due to friction, and reduce wear on parts.
(3) Pitch error in a gear is an indicator of the spacing between the teeth of a gear and its adjoining gear. The smaller the pitch error, the smoother the gears work together.
(4) In-house machining result with GE15FR Plus (Workpiece data: Module 0.5mm; No. of teeth 100; Torsion angle: 0deg; Tooth width: 15mm)

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About Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group is one of the world's leading industrial firms. For more than 130 years, we have channeled big thinking into solutions that move the world forward - advancing the lives of everyone who shares our planet. We deliver innovative and integrated solutions across a wide range of industries, covering land, sea, sky and even space. MHI Group employs 80,000 people across 400 locations, operating in three business domains: "Power Systems," "Industry & Infrastructure," "Aircraft, Defense & Space." We have a consolidated revenue of around 40 billion U.S. Dollars. We aim to contribute to environmental sustainability while achieving global growth, using our leading-edge technologies. By bringing people and ideas together as one, we continue to pave the way to a future of shared success.

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