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HD reducers and Shell Robotic Grease HD S5 V30: Everything you need to know

Harmonic drives – also known as strain wave gears – are mechanical gear systems relied on the world over due to their increased precision and lack of backlash. And sometimes, beyond this world too, in space. So, perhaps it’s no surprise that the world of robotics – another forward-looking sector – is increasingly using such systems in the form of HD, or harmonic drive, reducers.
3D Model of an HD Gear Reducer

oil, lubricant and greases

What’s the difference between HD reducers and rotate vector (RV) reducers?

Though both HD and RV reducers allow robotic components to run at suitable speeds in relation to the application at hand, there are specific operational differences between the two:

  • RV reducers are generally used for high-torque, low-speed transmission equipment, with a robustness that lends itself well to medium or heavy-load applications like factory robots, machine tools or assembly and conveying equipment.
  • HD reducers are more compact in size and structure, making them an ideal fit for smaller robotic manufacturing applications like those used in electronic or medical equipment.
Robotic arms picking salad leaves

What benefits do HD reducers provide?

Despite its often-small size and comparatively lighter weight, a HD reducer is able to carry a relatively large capacity, while high motion accuracy makes it an ideal choice for high precision tasks that need to be heavily repeated over a short space of time. HD reducers are therefore often used in sophisticated robotic equipment across electronic manufacturing, automotive component manufacturing and the medical device industry.

What challenges do HD reducers face in manufacturing?

While their more compact mechanical structure makes HD reducers a good fit for applications that demand reliability and precision in a repetitive and heavy-loading environment, these same characteristics also expose them to potential problems, such as: load carrying capability and wear, vibration damage and friction issues.

How can Shell Robotic Grease HD S5 V30 help solve common HD reducer challenges?

  • Icon of two bricks causing friction

    Load Carrying and Wear Prevention

    Shell Robotic Grease HD S5 V30 has shown the highest load capacity in tests, alongside comparable wear resistance to competitive greases.1

  • Icon of a vibration line

    Protection Against Vibration Damage

    Shell Robotic Grease HD S5 V30 provides outstanding protection against vibration damage thanks to excellent anti-shearing capabilities.2

  • Icon of a brick sliding down a slope

    Friction Reduction

    Due to superior additives, Shell Robotic Grease HD S5 V30 is able to match or exceed the best performing products in regards to friction reduction. Reduced temperature has a positive impact on wear, grease ageing and leakage.3

  • Icon of a thermometer with a snowflake

    Extreme Temperature Performance

    Shell Robotic Grease HD S5 V30 has been proven to operate in temperatures ranging from –40 to 150°C, while providing excellent rust protection. Choice thickener, base oil, and additives are critical to product performance.4

  • Icon of an oil drop falling

    Leakage Prevention

    Shell Robotic Grease HD S5 V30 has a more stable, complex thickener structure, with excellent shear resistance and suitable oil separation performance.5

Like with all manufacturing or robotic machinery, a piece of equipment is only as effective as its in-service lubricant. After all, mechanical components can’t do the job they were designed for unless their grease or oil helps provide the right environment for them to thrive within.

This certainly goes for robotics too, including HD reducers, where precision must be sustained even after thousands of repetitive actions day in, day out. So, with wear, vibration and friction all knocking at the door, what must a HD reducer grease provide in order to keep a site’s HD reducers consistently performing?

As a new generation grease for HD reducers, Shell Robotic Grease HD S5 V30 has been tested across various field and laboratory trials to determine its suitability and performance in several key areas, including:

Sustaining precision and operational reliability

A good grease is one that has excellent lubricating properties, even under high loads. A proven high-capacity load allows the HD reducer to maintain its precision over time, without succumbing to issues caused by wear.

By ensuring consistent lubrication performance, a product like Shell Robotic Grease HD S5 V30 can help a reducer maintain its productivity levels and support with prolonging its life in the process.

Preventing wear and reducing maintenance workload

But equipment life can only be extended if adequate protection is provided from the start. And since conventional greases are unable to provide the special protection needed by HD reducers, dedicated Robotic greases outperform their traditional counterparts in terms of friction and vibration reduction.

Shell Robotic Grease HD S5 V30 meets most OEM specifications and exceeds the high performing products on the market when it comes to protection, helping to reduce operating temperatures as well as the risk of wear, grease ageing or leakage.6

Wielding robots  and conveyor belt in automated factory

How can Shell help?

As robotics continues to play an increasingly important role across the As robotics continues to play an increasingly important role across the manufacturing sector, it will be important for OEMs and operators alike to learn, maintain and improve their robotics lubrication and maintenance knowledge.

With next level grease technology for robotic arms, alongside an extended track record of supporting innovation for industrial automation, Shell Lubricant Solutions is well placed to help with:

  • Lubrication products: From RV grease to HD grease, as well as high quality robotic gear oil, find the exact lubricant you need to keep your automated equipment performing for longer
  • Lubrication services: Our wide-ranging service portfolio covers everything from on-site assistance from lubrication experts to data-driven oil condition monitoring
  • Cross-sector expertise: Explore our Perspectives Content Hub, where industry leaders share their expert advice on how to deal with some of society’s biggest challenges

Download the Shell Robotics Grease HD S5 V30 brochure

Formulated specifically for HD reducers, Shell Robotic Grease HD S5 V30 helps to improve lubrication performance, sustain equipment precision, and enhance operating reliability, so you can prolong your reducer lifetime.

Download brochure

Shell Gadus for Automation and Robotics

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1 ASTM D5706 load carrying protection.

2 MTM Traction Test for vibration damage

3 ASTM D5707 for friction reduction

4 ASTM D1831 for anti-shearing

5 ASTM D1831 for anti-shearing

6 All data shown is derived from tests conducted by Shell Lubricant Solutions or partner laboratories using recognised standard methods.

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