After sliding from its peak more than 25 years ago, U.S. manufacturing appears to be on the way back. Factory automation is a critical element enabling U.S. manufacturing companies to effectively compete in the global marketplace. To maintain this competitive trend, modern robotic and automation systems require higher precision and faster speeds than ever before. And a crucial component in providing the high accuracy and smooth operation required lies in the gear mechanisms that move and position the robot arm or machine structure. Gearing has a significant effect on the acceleration, positioning accuracy, and dynamic performance possible from the robot. To achieve optimum productivity, each gear unit must minimize those design factors that degrade performance. Harmonic Drive® gear units and actuators provide this performance, enabling robots to reach their full potential in boosting manufacturing output.