Since the creation of the wheels way back in 3 500 B.C., our technology has advanced significantly. Technological improvements allow humans to live and work more conveniently and productively. Some of the most significant everyday innovations have gone lost in the shuffle, and people have, over time, lost sight of their significance due to the hundreds of thousands of technological advancements that have occurred throughout history.

Unrecognized by most people, components like motion control servo drive significantly make people's lives easier daily. True to almost all industries that enliven the market today, many everyday products use little technological components like servo motors that you would not expect.

Let us discover the importance of this component in different industries.

What is servo motion control?

In industrial processes, servo control, also known as “robotics” or "motion control," is employed to move a given load in a controlled fashion. It commonly uses hydraulic, pneumatic, or electromechanical actuation technology to carry out the movement. The type of actuator, an apparatus that supplies the energy to move the load, is chosen depending on the power, precision, speed, and cost demands.

Industries that require high accuracy, low to medium power, and high-speed applications are where electromechanical systems are most generally used. These contemporary solutions are critical in big industries as they are adaptable, effective, and economical. The actuators in electromechanical systems are motors. They produce power by interacting with electromagnetic fields. These motors can produce linear or rotary motion.

What is Servo drive?

The servo drive, a very sophisticated device, interacts well with the servomotor to provide the desired operation with exceptionally accurate repeatability by deciphering signal directives from a supervisory controller. This interaction is a closed loop because the driver continuously tracks the location and speed of the motor and responds as necessary.

The responsiveness across automation systems and drives was previously provided by servo drives through specific communications media and protocols. Modern servo drives typically use industrial Ethernet communication protocols, which must be chosen to provide consistent communications speeds high enough for the application.

Controllers in servo control

The "brains" of a servo system are the controller. It is in charge of creating motion patterns and responding to changes in the environment outside. A simple ON/OFF switch or a dial operated by a person can serve as a controller. With the capacity to actively manage numerous servo axes, monitor I/O, and keep up with the machine's programming, they can also be as sophisticated as a computer.

Typically, the controller delivers a signal to the drive, the drive powers the motor, and the controller and the drive get feedback from the motor. The controller also receives input from the load. The controller examines the feedback and updates the signal to the amplifier to correct mistakes. The controller, which closes the velocity and position loops while the amplifier closes the current loop, is regarded as the intelligent component of the Servo. Many amplifiers will, however, close both velocity and/or position loops, which will lessen the computational load on the controller.

Common types of Controllers

People choose different controllers based on their cost, performance, convenience, and flexibility of use. Microcontrollers, PLCs, as well as motion controllers make up the majority of controllers. Each is discussed below. Controllers come in several designs, and customers choose them based on price, functionality, convenience, and usability. Microcontrollers, PLCs, together with motion controllers, make up the majority of controllers. They are just as follows:

1. Microcontrollers

This sort of compact, inexpensive computer executes code from non-volatile memory. It often takes a skilled programmer to configure a microcontroller for a system, and closing loops like position and velocity might be challenging. When designing a servo drive system for motion control with a microcontroller, it's common to let the amplifier/drive complete the desired loops. In contrast, the microcontroller merely communicates specific instructions back to the amplifier. These instructions might be influenced by inputs to the microcontroller, like sensors, switches, and more.

2. PLCs

PLCs, or programmable logic controllers, were first employed in the late 1960s to do away with the tangle of wires or troubleshooting nightmares related to sequential relay circuits. The short lifetime of mechanical relays can be replaced by PLCs. These controllers cost more than microcontrollers, but they do so for a good cause.

A PLC's processor and memory enable programmed, saved and carried out commands. It also contains I/O slots and a rack so that the PLC can add I/O modules as necessary. High-speed counters, real-time clocks, or servo control capabilities are just a few characteristics that the modules could bring.

PLC's advantages include its capacity to be expanded and resilience to hostile environments. Compared to motion controllers, the cost is typically lower.

3. Motion Controllers

Motion is controlled by devices called motion controllers (hence the name). So, commands and I/O are tailored to the requirements of people in the motion sector. Motion controllers, in contrast to the others, are frequently PC-based, enabling a graphical user interface. Advanced features are typically included to enable functions like commutation sensing and easy adjustment. A motion controller is generally more user-friendly than a PLC or microcontroller. They usually cost more because of the extra functionality.

Operation of Servo system

Compared to other technologies, specifying servo systems can be challenging for designers. Even after taking into account mechanical factors, the following are required:
  • Supplying all motion controllers with power
  • Motion controller, servo motor, and related automation system power and control wiring
  • protecting the environment for the motion controller
  • Software integration between the automation system and the motion controller.
Installation of the electrical components may need permits and installation by licensed electricians. After installation, technicians and engineers should commission advanced motion control automation and fundamental drive functioning. These procedures can be sped up and made more straightforward by choosing a system from a single source.

Despite these challenges, end users should anticipate a long and reliable functional life with significant operational and energy efficiency once a servo motion system is successfully implemented. Although servo systems can be challenging to fix, their digital controls typically contain important diagnostic data that can guide maintenance workers' efforts.

What is a servo drive used for?

The accuracy, performance, dependability, and automation integration offered by servo motion controllers and motors are excellent. Numerous automation systems rely on one or more strategies for commanding the physical motion of machinery, which can be done in various ways. When used about automated equipment, the term "motion control" refers explicitly to positively managing the actual position of specified mechanical components on or around a machine. Here are several motion control-related automation fundamentals.

One or more types, mechanisms, and geometries may be used in equipment motion control. A few ideas are as follows:
  • You can just extend and retract a linear action, like a material handling pusher on top of a conveyor.
  • Rotational motion, such as the conveyor drive itself, might be either stopped or merely operating at a set speed.
  • Some applications for positional motion, including linear and rotary motion, require commanding the machinery to a specific point using predetermined acceleration, velocity, and deceleration profiles.
A machine's axis is any degree of linear or rotary motion. Every axis may function independently, or several axes may require close coordination. Consider a robotic arm with four rotating axis joints and one linear gripper axis. All these motions must simultaneously occur for the robot to effectively grasp a target payload.

Even after the motion type has been determined, there are still things to think about:
  • Whether the speed is constant or fluctuating
  • needed precision of position/distance, speed, and acceleration/deceleration
  • force necessary
  • Work cycle (how often the motion will be performed)
  • dependability and endurance
  • readily available energy
  • the programmable logic controller (PLC) make, model, and communications protocols, as well as the supervisory automation platform
  • Cost of acquisition, operation, and upkeep.
Servomotors are typically brought up when designers consider motion control that requires precision.

Where to find high-performance motion control servo system components?

Servos can drive machinery in a rotational or linear motion when coupled directly or through mechanisms. Compared to less capable systems, they can be more challenging to develop, procure, install, and commission. However, once in use, they are dependable and effective. More importantly, servos offer the high performance and accuracy that many applications demand.

Mechanical motion for original equipment manufacturer machinery and other processing equipment is a vital necessity that can be satisfied by applying numerous technologies. The use of electric servo drives, also known as motion controllers, and related servomotors to move the machinery is most frequently referred to as motion control.

Pro motions control tips for industrial applications, top motion control performance, and optimum streamlined integration with automation systems can be obtained by purchasing all Servo system components from a single provider. Visit the get started with your servo system.