Domestic harmonic reducer breaks Japan’s monopoly: the battle for the core highland of industrial robots
Industrial Robots are a must for each country in the next-generation technology war. Whether it is semiconductor production, automobile production, or medical device production, the addition of these Robotic arms will build the industrial background of every industrial power in the future. However, It is in such an important area that three years ago,That is, in 2018, the average localization rate of industrial robots in China was only 30%.The stuck neck of some core components in industrial robots hinders the development of industrial robots in our country. Harmonic reducer is one of them.
What is the use of harmonic reducer? Each joint movement of the robot needs to be driven by a servo motor. The servo motor has the characteristics of large output speed and small output torque; however, the actual requirements of the joint structure are low output speed and large rotation torque, so the output of the existing servo motor cannot meet the requirements. The motion demand of the terminal mechanical body requires the structure of the reducer to decelerate.
In other words, the reducer is like a human tendon, connecting the muscles and bones, so that the power and the limbs are more coordinated
But many people don’t know that it is such an important core component that our country has been stuck in the neck for a long time.
Globally, manufacturers engaged in the R&D and production of precision reducers mainly include Nabtesco, Hamernaco, Nippon Shinpo, and Sumitomo, all of which are Japanese companies. Among them, Hamernaco and Nabtesco are the absolute leaders in the reducer industry.The two companies account for about 70% of the global market share of Industrial Robot reducers.These two Japanese reducer companies can be seen on many production lines and industrial products in China.
And China broke the monopoly of Japan’s speed reducer since 2011. In 2011, a family calledgreen harmonicsThe company was born in Suzhou, Jiangsu, and took the lead in realizing the industrialized production and large-scale application of harmonic reducers in China, breaking the long-term monopoly of Japanese brands in the field of domestic robot harmonic reducers. In March 2011, the company’s first reducer prototype was sent to Jiangsu Province Reducer Product Quality Supervision and Inspection Center for testing. A breakthrough in technology. At present, Green Harmonic has also become the representative of domestic reducers, accounting for more than 60% of the domestic independent brand robot market. At the same time, Green Harmonic reducer has a market share of 6.16% in the global harmonic reducer. Its harmonic reducer shipments are second only to Japan’s Hamernaco, and it is the second largest harmonic reducer manufacturer in the world. In 2020, Green Harmonic was listed on the Science and Technology Innovation Board, and it has also become a very typical representative of China’s specialization characteristics.
As an important component of industrial robots, harmonic reducers have been monopolized by Japanese companies for more than 30 years. However, this situation was broken by a little-known Chinese private enterprise in 2013. Can we replicate this experience in other areas that are stuck?
I think it’s very possible, but here are a few premises
The first premise is that we already have basic technology accumulation in our related fields.It is not a complete layman for Green Harmony to start a reducer. The predecessor of this company is Suzhou Hengjia Metal Products Co., Ltd., which was founded in 1999 and registered in 2003. This company started as an OEM for precision machining. Silently accumulated in the field of precision machining for many years, although the value of OEM is at the lowest end in the entire industry chain, and the gold content is not high, but with low cost, the parts sold to Europe for these products are only 100% of the price of local European companies. About 20 to 30 parts, which made Green Harmonic actually enter the industry in the early years, and began to work hard and accumulate technology.
The second premise is that there are alternative opportunities in the relevant market.How does a foundry cut into precision instruments? The key factor behind this is the opportunity for supplier substitution due to the mistakes of competitors. Around 2003, by chance, Green Harmonic executives heard a lot of complaints from the staff of the international robot giant about the Japanese company’s high monopoly on harmonic reducers. And this time complained that Zuo Yuyu was able to discover the market opportunity of the reducer.
The third premise is the original spirit of innovation,With the accumulation of technology and market opportunities, the ultimate breakthrough is the original spirit that can break through the technological monopoly. After seeing the direction of the green harmonics, he resolutely decided to enter the harmonic reducer from the red sea of OEM. Blue Ocean constantly “smashes” all the tens of millions of profits from OEMs into the research and development of harmonic reducers. Green has invested more than 200 million in the research and development of harmonic reducer technology. It’s still “crazy”. It is this original spirit of innovation that enables the market share of today’s domestically produced reducers in China to continue to increase.
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