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AC servo drive `will raise speeds by 15%`
Published:  01 May, 2003

AC servo drive `will raise speeds by 15%`

Baldor claims that a new brushless AC servo drive will allow users to run their servo motors about 15% faster than other types of drive. It says that the MicroFlex drive will allow OEMs to squeeze more performance out of motion machinery, while trimming costs.

Although the single-axis drive is designed for low-cost and volume manufacture, it incorporates advanced features to improve motor speed and smoothness of motion, including space vector modulation (SVM), a high-resolution synchronous serial interface (SSI), and incremental encoder feedback interfaces.

The use of SVM instead of the more common carrier-based pulse width modulation (PWM) technique to control the drive`s IGBT power devices, is said to result in faster speeds, with lower switching losses and harmonics.

SSI feedback can provide a similar boost to performance, by providing high-resolution absolute positional data on every servo loop, enabling tighter control of velocity and positioning. This allows the low-cost drive to be used in high-accuracy applications, such as precision profiling or PCB assembly.

The MicroFlex drive supports trapezoidal commutation, as well as the usual sinusoidal commutation, allowing OEMs to cut hardware costs further by using encoderless motor control loops.

The drives come in three power ratings — 3A, 6A and 9A — with 200% peak current capabilities. They will run from single- or three-phase supplies from 115—230V AC, making it possible to fit one standard motion control system into machinery for international markets.

The drives can be configured as either a torque or velocity reference using standard ±10V input command signals. A step and direction interface is also supplied, making the drives suitable for upgrading or replacing stepper-based packages.

Built-in protection includes encoder loss detection, and overcurrent, overvoltage, and overtemperature protection. By adding an external dumping resistor, regenerative braking energy can be dissipated.

The MicroFlex drives are configured using Baldor`s Windows-based Mint WorkBench package, which is used for all of the company`s servo controls, intelligent drives and motion controllers. The software includes an autotuning tool to help users install the drives rapidly and efficiently.

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