1) Overview of the reducer industry
- Definition and classification
A reducer, also known as a gearbox, is a power transmission mechanism that uses gears to reduce the rotational speed of a motor and increase the torque.
Reducers are mainly used for motors to match speeds and transmit torque between the motor and the working machine. Most working machines have high loads and low speeds, so they can't be directly driven by the motor. They need reducers to lower the speed and increase the torque. Therefore, most working machines require the use of reducers. As an essential component of industrial power transmission, reducers are widely used in various industries such as environmental protection, construction, power, chemical, food, logistics, plastics, rubber, mining, metallurgy, petroleum, cement, ships, and water conservancy.
Reducers can be divided into general-purpose reducers and special-purpose reducers. Based on different classification criteria, these two types of reducers can be further divided into different product types. The specific product situation is shown in the table below.
2) Analysis of the reducer industry chain
-Widespread downstream applications in the reducer industry
Upstream enterprises mainly include equipment manufacturers, component manufacturers, and raw material manufacturers. The main equipment produced by reducers is metal cutting machine tools, and the main enterprises include Dalian Machine Tool Group, etc. Component manufacturers include foundry and bearing manufacturers. Raw material manufacturers are mainly steel companies. Midstream participants mainly include general-purpose reducer manufacturers, special-purpose reducer manufacturers, and robot reducer manufacturers. The downstream application areas of reducers are extensive, involving metallurgy, aviation, food, robots, and more.
3) Development history of the reducer industry in China
-Entering the stage of domestic substitution
The development of reducers in China has a history of nearly 40 years and has been widely used in various fields of the national economy and defense industry. The products have evolved from the initial single-type cycloidal reducers to the current diverse range, including cycloidal reducers, variable speed drives, gear reducers, worm gear reducers, electric drum reducers, and more. The reducer industry in China has gone through four stages.
In the 1960s, China established standards for industry development and set up specialized factories for reducer production. After 1978, the country introduced advanced processing equipment and gradually mastered the design and manufacturing technology of various high-speed and low-speed heavy-duty gear devices through the introduction and absorption of advanced foreign technology and scientific research. During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, energy-saving and environmentally friendly reducers replaced high-energy-consuming, highly polluting, and low-efficiency reducers. The industry entered a phase of major reforms, breaking free from reliance on foreign technology and independently developing energy-saving and environmentally friendly products.
Since 2015, "Made in China 2025" has required breakthroughs in technologies for high-end products such as robot reducers, indicating that reducer technology has entered a period of catching up. With the partial mass production of domestic RV reducers and harmonic reducers, the domestic precision reducer industry has entered the stage of domestic substitution.