I.K KAN Research Annex

I.K KAN Research Annex Aiming for Ten-fold Greater Accuracy

I.K KAN exterior

The I.K KAN research annex was completed April 1, 2002 as a prototype of a next-generation manufacturing facility, for moving closer to ideal motion control with the HarmonicDrive®. Targeting a ten-fold improvement in accuracy, we are pursuing sub-micron level processing precision by equipping the facility with machine tools and measuring instruments capable of high-precision processing and measurement.

Essential for realizing this target are infrastructure provision and the training of engineers and developers able to perform processing and measurement at that level. The I.K KAN was built both as an investment in processing and measurement equipment and as infrastructure for achieving these goals.

Perspective drawing of I.K KAN interior

I.K KAN interior

Our aims at the I.K KAN are (1) to shorten the time for development of fundamental gear technology and (2) to shorten new product development time. Specific initiatives are attempting to reduce the angular transmission error* of an assembled HarmonicDrive® to a tenth of the existing rate (5 arc seconds or less) and are exploring the possibilities of precision processing and measurement, among other goals.
The benefits from improved angular transmission accuracy are expected first of all in applications to various positioning devices requiring high positioning accuracy and low vibration and to equipment requiring micro angle positioning. In addition, we believe that marketing such high-accuracy products may prompt customers to create new applications that do not currently exist.

Another aim is to raise and pass on the skills of engineers involved in making things in this environment. The results of research carried out at the I.K KAN are being transferred to the manufacturing floor as they become available, contributing greatly to improved product performance and development of new and improved engineering methods.

  • *Angular transmission accuracy represents the rotation accuracy of a device that conveys motive power. It is measured as the difference between the theoretical and actual output angle in relation to an input angle of rotation. The smaller the value of angular transmission error, the greater is the rotation accuracy. This is one important performance factor affecting positioning accuracy, rotation speed variability, vibration, and noise, etc.

I.K KAN construction and environmental specifications

The building consists of four blocks, a high-accuracy constant temperature room, a staging room for equipment to be carried in, a machine room for environmental control, and a visitor reception area. Its structure is designed to minimize temperature and humidity fluctuations as well as floor vibration. The construction and environmental specifications are as follows.

Floor space:375m2 (15m x 25m)
Precision processing room 251m2
Precision measurement room 49m2
Environmental control room 75m2
Structure height 9m
Constant-temperature environment specifications (control of normal pressure atmosphere)
Temperature 23℃ at 3m above floor
Precision processing room ±0.5℃
Precision measurement room ±0.3℃
Humidity 58% ±5%
Floor specifications (4-layer structure)
Layer 1 painted surface
Layer 2 concrete 1m thick
Layer 3 aluminum sheet (for moisture-proofing) with rust-resistant plastic coat
Layer 4 sand 1m thick

I.K KAN exterior

The I.K KAN research annex is part of a building cluster called the TRIAD consisting also of the IIDA KAN Gallery and guard house. Besides its practicality as a research building, it has received high acclaim for its artistic design as an architectural structure.

The name of the building comes from the initials I and K of Shoichi Ishikawa and Hiroshi Kameda, two people who created the technology foundation for the HarmonicDrive® in our company.

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