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Press release | Cycloidal gears for the digital age: Nabtesco opens up new areas of application through hybridisation of the cycloidal gear

What do mechanical products in the digital age deliver in terms of performance, and how can they keep up with the rapid pace of technological change? Nabtesco, the largest manufacturer of cycloidal gears worldwide, has found an answer and introduces the next level with hybrid concepts. Customers benefit from new markets, applications, and services.

Innovations such as the digital twin of a precision gearbox for software-based condition monitoring concepts in robotics and the electromechanical steering actuator system for autonomous commercial vehicles are examples of the direction being taken by Nabtesco. “Cycloidal gears are an extremely powerful technology, but as with all mechanical products, there are physical limits. Our future success therefore lies in networks, in the bundling of competences and technologies,” Daniel Obladen, Head of Sales General Industries at Nabtesco Precision Europe GmbH, points out.

Condition Monitoring with digital twins of precision gearboxes

For example, Nabtesco has entered into a cooperation with the Austrian robot controller expert KEBA, as the first gear manufacturer in the robotics sector to provide gear-specific data and characteristics. The goal: economical predictive maintenance concepts based on virtual sensors. A digital twin of a gearbox in the robot control system will make it possible in the future to monitor the actual operating behaviour and the specific load of each individual robot axis, and to calculate in real time how much wear there is and whether service is required. Constant monitoring of the cycloidal gears would facilitate maintenance on demand. It would also allow timely identification of impending failures, while facilitating planning of service calls, reducing maintenance and eliminating unplanned machine downtimes. The result would be more efficient production processes and increased productivity.

The world’s first steer-by-wire system for commercial vehicles

The steering actuator system for autonomous commercial vehicles is also the result of a cooperation – in this case with adcos, a development partner specialising in software and hardware solutions for mechatronic systems and a company of the Nabtesco Group. The CV-EPS platform (CV-EPS = Commercial Vehicle Electronic Power Steering) is a purely electromechanical steering and drive solution. The modular concept (mechanical components with software-based customising) was designed and industrialised for integration in diverse commercial vehicles, and has high potential for cutting-edge fields such as electric vehicles and autonomous mobility. The first prototypes are already on the road.

New efficiency and application potentials thanks to hybrid cycloidal gears

The special design of Nabtesco cycloidal gears ensures high dynamics and precision (hysteresis loss of 0.5 to max. 1 arcmin) and reduced wear throughout the entire life cycle, which makes them the ideal solution for numerous automation tasks. Whether for mechanical engineering, robotics, electric vehicles, medical technology or intralogistics: Wherever exact positioning and absolute reliability are required, the high-performance gear systems are the first choice. With hybrid concepts such as the digital twin of a gearbox and the steer-by-wire system, Nabtesco is expanding the performance spectrum of its cycloidal gears to open up new efficiency and application potentials for customers.