Servomotors Plus Integrated Drives Selection Criteria

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The newly branded and distributed servo drive systems are stepping into the industrial market arena with a promise of unmatched performance. However, the engineers behind the wheels of such an incredible creation should not rush to its standardization on a target platform but should first consider the necessity of safety integration, form factor, and cabling. This article goes on a short ride to unravel the selection criteria relating to Servomotors and integrated drives.

The servomotors with integrated drive biography are expressive of a groundbreaking technology upon its launch on the commercial market. However, it still lags in terms of its recognition in attaining its maximum potential. The stated servomotors have the functional objective of reducing the footprint and commissioning time while simultaneously triggering an increase in safety and performance. Due to implementation complexity and cost, the motion-control architectures remain a challenge, thus to uniquely point out the high-quality servo-systems is a significant approach.

The Daisy Chained Against the Distributed Servo Drive Systems

The definition of a simplified installation entails the applicability of a servo motor using integrated drive technology as the sole requirement. The use of, for example, an EtherCAT as an industrial Ethernet communication will easily connect the unit of power through the assist and craftiness of a certified engineer.

However, in a different factory setting, there might be a more complex topology that, for example, requires the servomotors to spread through distinctive machines and lines. Such cases require the engineers to choose between the cascaded systems or distributed systems.

A cascaded system implements a daisy chain on the servomotor. The first unit makes a direct connection with the control panel’s I/O and power terminals and, in turn, shares with the subsequent units. This setup, however, introduces several potential failure points. Thus a grind-to-halt is an expectation if the Ethernet cable, power cable, or a single motor meet with a single error disruptive to the whole motion control architecture.

The distribution module on a few distributed servo-drive systems helps manage multiple IP65-rated servomotors or even those with better ratings. Through single coupling, the machine-mounted module makes a power and communication connection between the distributed servo drives and the control cabinet. It thus simultaneously limits failure points while supporting the cascaded architecture. Hence all the system operations will not crumble in the event of a damaged cable.

OTC (One-Cable Technology) simplifies cabling further for the industrial Ethernet communication and power. This cabling achieves a reduction in both the machine footprint and commissioning time. They are essential entities in major manufacturing environments. If you are looking for a top-notch clean and efficient motion-control solution, then the combination of a distributed servo drive system and an OCT should do the trick.

The Top/Side-Mounted Integrated Drives Against the Back-Mounted

Form factor ties itself to the servomotors-integrated drives fusion. The functional fusion of the two devices into a singular functional unit is not as simple as it sounds. New machines utilizing the distributed servo drive system should minimize the footprint requirements. However, the previous models’ rectangular shape and mounting plate should be consistent for the mechanical designs to have minimal impacts and to successfully support the legacy equipment retrofits.

The servomotor’s ideal location for embedding the drives is often an unsuccessful struggle for some manufacturers. Stacking the drive at the side or on top of the motor is an approach of many current models. The result is a significantly altered form factor leading to a larger footprint and more mechanical changes. The logical location for fitting the drive is at the motor’ s rear. However, following up on this logical integration by most manufacturers creates more unresolved challenges. That is, the motor and drive convergence technology creates heat dissipation issues.

A different approach to this design challenge by the integrated-motors suppliers is through following the same rear integration approach but with a slightly lengthened form factor if referenced to the servomotor-only models.

Forcing the heat out from the motor’s back via the integrated drive is one approach by some built-in motors. Others push the heat out from the motor’s sides, thus housing down the motor’s whole length. The plan is achievable through careful redesign of the motor-winding. Therefore it is possible to make a distributed servo drive systems selection with small footprint retention without causing the retrofits or new installations to overheat.

The IGBTs Against the MOSFETs

Drive electronics’ semiconductors selection also helps improve on form factor and heat dissipation challenges. IGBTs’ many reputable years and proven track record make it an ideal choice for many drive models and integrated motors. MOSFETs, however, dissipate less heat, and their recent design updates are in favor of motion control’s robust switching option.

The bipolar nature of IGBTs adapts it to high current and voltage. However, the use of MOSFETs, as field-effective transistors, can withstand high current together with fewer switching losses. It is true for applicable thousand of volts and double-digit amps.

Additional wiring, heat sinks, and pumps are just a named portion of supporting components required by IGBTs. Thus price and footprint are the sacrificial lambs for the gains in higher current and voltage. MOSFETs, however, will work with fewer components and at a lower temperature to attain high-performance operations. Thus they end up winning the award for the Most-Preferred-Semiconductor for architectures that require distributed motion control.

Industrial Automation Separated Versus Integrated Safety

With safety as a mandatory objective, the use of an isolated standalone safety system applies to most integrated drives servomotors. The requirement of a frequent third-party software platform and platform, and dedicated wiring makes it less efficient and more expensive. The default provision of SS1 safety functions and integrated STO is a counter approach for the newer versions of servomotors-integrated-drives. The EtherCAT industrial Ethernet network should also consider the safety I/O terminals interface.

The discussed features and design differences in servomotors-integrated-drives may be of less value on paper-view but can be the difference between improving and degrading a motion-control architecture. You can read more on servomotors to be more in-depth with viable consideration criteria.