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Precision Drive Systems

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The right drive for your ideas

We build customer-specific drives for you, even if it's only a single unit. We combine brushed and brushless DC motors, gearheads, sensors, and controllers into mechatronic drive systems.

Use our e-shop to assemble your specific maxon DC or BLDC drive: For example, you can configure gear stages, motor bearings, shafts, and encoders online – and much more. We will have your drive ready for shipment within 11 working days – including modifications to gearhead and sensor.

Since 1961, businesses from a wide range of industries, including medical technology, robotics, industrial automation, mobility, and aerospace, place their trust in reliable drive systems by maxon. Our drives excel where extreme precision and the highest quality standards are indispensable and compromises cannot be tolerated – on Earth, and on Mars.

5000 products, 1 million possible combinations

Configure your personal maxon drive system. Get an overview of the extensive range of DC and BLDC motors, gearheads, sensors, control electronics, and the variety of possible combinations. Make a preliminary selection based on the power and size, commutation, or bearings. Find what you're looking for in the maxon online shop – including our sterilizable drives for use under special ambient conditions or electric drives with integrated electronics.

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The next step: Mechatronic drive systems

maxon is able to combine high-quality drive components in a mechatronic system. The benefits: a compact design, components configured specifically for the customer, and the guarantee of obtaining maximum performance from the drive system.

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Expertise

We turn your ideas into drive solutions

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maxon experts can be found in these industries

Our engineers have profound industry knowledge. They won't be satisfied until they have found the perfect drive solution. maxon is ISO certified for medical technology and aerospace applications, among other areas.

DC and BLDC motors made by maxon drive the Mars rovers and have been operating on the Red Planet for more than ten years. Down here on Earth, the unique quality of our reliable, efficient and powerful drive systems ensures customer satisfaction. Together with our customers, we find the right solution for each application. The name maxon is synonymous with customized precision and stands for an extensive support network of drive specialists that guarantees high Swiss standards all over the world, in the US, Europe, and Asia.

Our experts trust in the advantages of maxon drives: Compact design, high quality and reliability, robustness (resilience against shock and vibration), a wide temperature range, long service life, adaptability (rotary and linear drives), excellent control characteristics due to linear gradients, a defined configuration and change management, and risk minimization through batch tracking.

Applications

From the operating room to outer space.

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For power and precision: maxon at work

maxon drives are precise, efficient, and deliver a lot of power in a very compact unit. They are used in deep drilling, in surgical robots, bicycles, airplanes, tattoo machines, as well as on Mars.

In the aerospace industry, a wide range of applications is controlled by actuators. They need to withstand tough ambient conditions, with strong vibrations and extreme temperature fluctuations. To increase reliability even further, safety-critical functions in airplanes use actuators with dual motors. One such actuator is installed at the jet engine to shut off the fuel supply in the event of a fire. This function must be available at all times and under any circumstances. The electric drives are therefore equipped with two high-quality DC motors.

Let yourself be inspired by this and many other application stories – from medical technology, robotics, or just from everyday life.

Company

Uncompromising quality since 1961

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You can rely on maxon where it really counts

  • 568 million in revenue (CHF)
  • 3050 employees
  • 40" countries
  • 5 million drives/year
  • 12000 variants/year

Founded in Switzerland, at home in the world

For the past 50 years, maxon has focused on customer-specific solutions, quality, and innovation. The products are manufactured in state-of-the-art facilities, including cleanrooms. The company has a total of 3,000 employees worldwide.

The history of maxon

maxon—driving your career

maxon offers an international yet familiar working environment for innovative thinkers and passionate movers and shakers. Those who are ready to question the limits of what's possible, as well as their own limitations, will quickly rise through the ranks at maxon.

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What motivates us

The unwavering will to make the seemingly perfect even better.

We are driven by progress. We are certain that we can continuously improve – even what seems to be perfect – over and over again. We believe that outstanding engineers and technicians can make a positive impact on the world. This is why we support them in their efforts to go off the beaten path and provide the right drives for their ideas. We do this because we share in their uncompromising drive to excel in technology.

How we operate

Intelligent, curious, and precise.

We put the world in motion. We think ahead and turn ideas into economically and intelligent viable solutions. Together, we push the boundaries of technology and build the electric drives of tomorrow. We strive for perfection and are curious about mastering future challenges together. No detail is too small nor a challenge too great for us.

Our promise to our customers

Integrated drive solutions, uncompromising quality, and pioneering innovation.

We develop innovative mechatronic drive systems in close collaboration with our customers. True to our Swiss roots, we strive for uncompromising quality. We do not give up until we have found the perfect drive solution for every application. As a privately-owned business, we are independent and able to make decisions quickly in the best interest of our customers.

Our promise to our employees

An international, yet familiar environment. 

For creative minds and passionate doers, we offer an international yet familiar environment. Those who are consistently prepared to question endless possibilities and themselves, will evolve to great heights with us.

The Mars adventure continues

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maxon drives are used in the rover and in the first Mars helicopter

DC motors from maxon have been used in virtually all successful robot missions on Mars. More than 100 of these drives from maxon are already on the Red Planet and the number will go up again when the Perseverance rover starts its work. Its mission is to collect soil samples on Mars that will be analyzed on Earth later. The rover also carries the helicopter drone Ingenuity, which will perform the first flights on the Red Planet. maxon's precision motors and gearheads will be used for numerous mission-critical tasks.  They will power the small robotic arm in the rover which moves the valuable samples from station to station. maxon's BLDC motors are also used for sealing and depositing the sample containers. In addition, there are six 10mm micromotors used to control the tilt of the rotor blades, which determines the direction of Ingenuity's flight. When the helicopter takes off, maxon will once again be part of a great engineering achievement on Mars.

  • 280 million kilometers away
  • 16 drive systems
  • 3" years of development
  • -120 degrees Celsius
  • 80 team members

Modified standard products are the secret to success

Ten maxon drives are in the latest Mars rover. For the first time, BLDC motors are being used: nine EC 32 flat and one EC 20 flat in combination with a GP 22 UP planetary gearhead (pictured). Like all of our electric motors used on Mars, they are based on standard catalog products, which can be found on Earth in all kinds of different applications.

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Because you can't repair a motor on Mars

Dominik Omlin, Production Engineer at maxon

Every move has to be just right when it comes to drives for Mars missions, and every assembly step has to be documented. If one of our drives doesn't work, the entire mission could fail. That's why Dominik and his team in Special Production work closely together to exchange information, discuss next steps and double check each others work on every drive system.

Inspiration doesn't come from a blank sheet of paper

Robin Phillips, Director of maxon's SpaceLab

Every space project is different and demands creative solutions. That's why our SpaceLab Director Robin collects unusual components from motors and gearheads to get inspiration. This is how he came up with the main idea for the brushless drive that is used in the Perseverance rover.

Build motors for the Mars helicopter? It would be our pleasure.

Florbela Costa, Aerospace Project Manager at maxon

The first drone flight over the surface of Mars will be a very proud moment for us – especially for Florbela. She is the project manager responsible for the DC motors that control the helicopter. She works together with our customers and the various departments at maxon, making sure our drives fulfill the challenging requirements of space missions.

With drives for Mars, every tenth of a gram counts

Aiko Stenzel, Aerospace Design Engineer at maxon

Our DC motors and gearheads are a part of many space missions. They are developed based on our previous experiences and our knowledge. Aiko knows exactly which modifications are needed for our standard industrial products to function perfectly on Mars.

White paper: What's behind the drives for Mars 2020

maxon's engineers worked closely with the specialists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in order to supply the perfect drives for the Mars 2020 mission. There were a number of obstacles that had to be overcome before the standard industrial products met all the requirements. Now, in a detailed white paper, the people involved provide insights into their processes, modifications, and findings. 

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Read the white paper to find out which requirements our products need to fulfill for Mars 2020.

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THANK YOU! Thank you for your interest in our white paper. We hope you enjoy reading it.

Discover the solar system with us

maxon drive systems have become an indispensable part of space exploration. The DC motors, gearheads, and encoders are not only used on Mars. In the latest issue of driven magazine, you can read about the other space projects that get a necessary boost from our drive systems.

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We are your space experts

All space projects are managed by our specialized SpaceLab team. maxon has been EN 9100 certified since 2012, has established the necessary quality processes, and knows the requirements of the industry. We test our precision drives intensively in our own laboratories to verify their resistance to vibration, shock, heat, cold, and vacuum.

Ask our space experts

Are you ready for the next space adventure? Our space experts are here to help you get started.

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Thank you very much for contacting us.

An expert from our Space team will be in touch very soon.

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