You might wonder how robots can imitate human movements such as gripping, walking, pushing, and lifting.
Aside from its artificial intelligence and its controllers, there is another factor that makes it carry out these activities—the servo system.
The servo system comprises four components, namely: the motor, drive, controller, and feedback device. Each plays an important function to make the machine work.
After the controller initiates a command, the servo drive receives these signals, amplifies it, and transmits it to the servo motor to produce the desired motion. Simply put, if the controller is the brain, the servo drive definition refers to the nervous system. It signals the motor so it can perform the motion.
Servo drives are also called “integrated motors.” They were originally built as stand-alone components, separate from the controller, motor, and feedback device. Manufacturers created an integrated system to reduce wiring, size, and setup time.
Now, companies offer servo drives that are built-in with other important components. The recent servo driver Arduino today offers countless advantages in positioning and motion control. To understand how, let’s find out what motion control applications are and how servo drives help in its mechanism.
Motion control is under the field of automation, allowing systems to move machine parts in a precise and controlled manner. It is used to create motion applications in various disciplines such as precision engineering, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and micro-manufacturing.
The system of motion control is either a closed or an open loop. Open-loop systems allow the controller to send commands from the amplifier to the prime mover (actuator). However, it does not detect if the motion is actually achieved.
Closed-loop systems, on the other hand, allow a firm control on the movement by adding a measuring device to the system. This device assesses the motion, converting it to a signal that will be sent back to the controller. When the controller compensates and adjusts to any error, it becomes a closed-loop.
Servo Drive in Motion Control Applications
Advanced motion control applications need servo controllers to communicate signals and carry out tasks. Specialized components as per the servo drive definition offer a great configuration to pneumatic and analog machines.
With added intelligence, a servo motor controller can boost the performance capabilities of the devices by offering enhanced diagnostic benefits. This is why manufacturers use servos in robotics, automation, machining, even in semiconductors.
Examples of motion controllers with servo systems include the hydraulic pump. This is a power source that converts mechanical energy into hydraulic energy to control pressure and flow. You can find hydraulic pumps on tractors, mining machinery, industrial machines, and forestry equipment.
If you observe the mechanism of installed servo-drive Blum drawers and lift systems, you can see the precision of control on the movements of drawers, stop doors, and cabinets. It promotes safety and efficiency in homes to prevent hazards while performing daily activities.
Why You Should Use Servo Drives
Servo motors, as what the servo drive definition suggests, are self-contained devices that can rotate parts of machines with precision and efficiency. Compared to regular motors, servo motors can be adjusted to a particular angle, position, and velocity. Plus, it can be coupled with sensors for positional feedback.
This makes machines more intelligent and semi-automated. The feedback from the servo motor helps the machine arrive at the desired position at a proportional velocity. Hence, it makes a machine run smoothly and effectively.
Another advantage of using a servomotor is the speed it provides compared to typical motors. Servos offer 2 to 3 times more speed without affecting the torque of the engine. Using this drive will allow higher speeds up to 1000 RPM
In general, servomotors offer enhanced control algorithms that are not available to other motors. This promotes accuracy and safety in handling machinery and equipment.
Types of Servo Drives
There are two types of servo drives – the DC servo motor and AC servo motor. Digital drives have microprocessors or computers that analyze incoming signals while controlling the mechanism. The DC servo drive allows the machine to be self-adjusting. It is beneficial if a device needs to adjust quickly to situations. However, it also has disadvantages including its power consumption and its high servo drive price.
Analog drives, on the other hand, has the same feedback system as the digital drive but it uses algorithms to measure system conditions. These drives control velocity for electrical inputs with more or less 10 volts. This is pre-adjusted using potentiometers to cope in specific conditions.
Some manufacturers choose analog drives because they consume less energy. When optimal conditions are met, experts recommend analog drivers to experience minimal jitters. It is effective, especially to devices that prioritize speed since they do not need torque amplifiers, only velocity amplifiers.
Servo Drive vs VFD
To clarify the differences of servo drive vs VFD, Variable Frequency Drive is a motor controller used to drive electrical machines by varying the frequency and voltage provided to the motor. It measures its speed through frequency (Hz). The faster the frequency, the greater the speed.
Servo drives, on the other hand, control devices with earth magnets – those with higher magnetic flux in smaller machines. This helps the motor generate more torque despite the small rotor. It gives machines the ability to accelerate and decelerate dynamically.
Recently manufactured VFDs have encoder inputs. However, they don’t possess the calculating power of servo drives in measuring complex high speeds.
In controlling mechanisms, VFDs offer position control but it does not compare to the performance of servo control. Therefore, the latter is preferred especially for more complex machinery and equipment.
Servo drives offer significant help to machine and equipment manufacturers. With the speed, precision, and control they offer, servos promote safety, efficiency, and accuracy in handling machines to substitute human efforts. Don’t miss out on these advantages, contact a reliable supplier to for the most effective servo drives and servo-drive cabinets in the market today.