Application of servo motor power and accuracy


Precision is the main advantage of servo motors. The ability of electric motors to provide precision and control makes them ideal for industrial applications such as robotics, aerospace, automotive manufacturing, packaging machinery, textiles, material handling, semiconductors and computer numerical control (CNC).

Servo motors are electromechanical devices that use feedback and closed-loop control to provide precise positioning and acceleration. They are equipped with encoders or resolvers that provide feedback about motor position and speed to the control system. The closed-loop control system then compares this feedback to the desired position and speed and makes adjustments.

This precision means that the servo motor can move to a specific position with high precision. The motor’s ability to adapt to changes in position or speed makes it an ideal device for applications that require quick adjustments. The control system allows the servo to operate at variable speeds to meet the requirements of the application.

Servo motors can also be connected to a programmable logic controller (PLC) or servo controller.

How do servo motors work?

Servomotors can produce large amounts of torque relative to their size and weight, resulting in a very high torque-to-inertia ratio, making them a reliable choice for applications requiring agility and power. It is a specialized rotary actuator that converts electrical input signals into mechanical motion.

The servo motor will not rotate continuously. Instead, it is designed and built for limited, controlled rotation.

Servo systems boost the motor’s power by sending control circuit signals to amplifiers to ensure it has the torque needed to overcome resistance. The output shaft of the motor is connected to the load.

Servo motors also require less maintenance and are more reliable because most servo motors are brushless, with the rotor containing permanent magnets and the stator generating the electromagnetic field.

What are servo motors used for?

Servo motors are ideal for controlling robotic arms, conveyor belts, CNC machine tools and any manufacturing process that requires precision. Due to the precision required to move robot joints and end effectors, servo motors are indispensable components in operations such as picking and assembly. Automated warehouse systems use servo systems to control conveyor systems and various retrieval systems. Mills, lathes, milling machines, additive manufacturing machines and other CNC machines often contain servo systems to ensure accuracy and precision in printing, cutting or workpiece movement.

Due to the need for precise product placement, servo motors are common in packaging equipment such as form, fill, seal (FFS) machines or bottling systems, as well as cartoning and labeling machines. Printers and label applicators also rely on servo systems to control the movement of paper or labels.

Servo motors are widely used in embroidery machines, knitting machines and looms to control fabric and yarn movement in textile manufacturing. Semiconductor manufacturing requires precise manufacturing alignment, so servo motors are critical in wafer handling equipment. The automotive industry is filled with servo motors used in assembly lines, paint applications, and welding. Servo systems are also common in test and measurement equipment and injection molding machines.

How big is a servo motor?

There is no standard classification of servo motors, but they can be classified based on frame size, torque, and power output.

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) defines motor frame dimensions but not servo motor characteristics. While servo motors are often designated by a frame size (such as NEMA 17, NEMA 23, or NEMA 34) to represent their physical dimensions, performance and power characteristics vary by manufacturer.

NEMA ratings also apply to electrical enclosures containing servo motors and other components. These enclosures range in protection from dust (NEMA 1) to dust, dirt, and oil (NEMA 13).

The performance characteristics of a servo motor are usually defined by torque in Nm or lb-ft, but they also vary in their rated horsepower (hp) range. Torque can be converted to horsepower using the following equation:

Torque (lb-ft) × Speed ​​(rpm) / 5,252 = Horsepower

Servo motors can range in power from a fraction of a horsepower to hundreds of horsepower. Specific ratings depend on manufacturer specifications and can be found in the data sheet.

Low-power servo motors range from 1/10 hp to 5 hp and are commonly used in smaller systems, some robots, and CNC machine tools.

Medium power servos range from 5 hp to 50 hp. Large robots, packaging machines and conveyor systems often include these medium-power motors.

Ratings greater than 50 hp are defined as high power servo motors. High-power servo systems are suitable for heavy machinery, large machining centers or metal forming equipment.

How are servo motors different?

The closed-loop control of servo motors is different from that of open-loop motors, which lack a feedback mechanism. Other non-servo motors are controlled by applying a constant voltage or current to the windings. They are also not as precise as servomotors and typically have a fixed speed torque, making them less versatile than servomotors. However, servos are generally more expensive than brushed DC motors or stepper motors due to the control system and feedback mechanisms. The cost of servo motors has been falling, but they remain expensive for operations that require precision, accuracy and reliability.

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