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Thumb-sized 4kW servodrive ‘sets power density record’

14 May, 2014

UPDATED: Elmo Motion Control, the Israeli motion control specialist, claims to have set a new record for servodrive power densities with a tiny drive that produces more than 4kW from a package that weighs just 18g (or 22g with an EtherCat option) and occupies a volume of 8.7cm3.

The company says that the drive, called the Gold Bee, is 75% smaller, 200% more efficient, and has a power density that is more than 400% higher than earlier drives. It can support currents of up to 50A at 100V DC and has a power rating of 4kW.

“We’re not aware of any product on the market today that attains this performance, power or size density,” says Elmo CEO, Haim Monhait.

“Customers’ needs are challenging us to dramatically improve the power/size factor,” he adds. “The Gold Bee is our solution for applications that have critical space constraints, require a powerful servo, have limited heat dissipation capabilities, and operate in extreme environments.”

The PCB-based drive can operate in current, velocity, and advanced position modes when used with permanent-magnet synchronous DC brush and brushless motors, as well as linear motors and voice coils. It supports a variety of feedback sensors in single-, dual- and gantry-loop configurations.

Elmo's tiny Gold Bee servodrive can deliver a peak power of 400W

The drive has a current loop bandwidth of more than 4.5kHz, and a current loop dynamic range of 2,000:1. Sample times are as low as 50µs for current, velocity and position. Elmo claims that the drive is the smallest available that offers Safe Torque Off (STO) to SIL3. It has been designed to operate in temperatures from –40°C to +70°C, and to cope with mechanical vibrations up to 14g.

The servodrive incorporates Elmo’s proprietary FASST (Fast and Soft Switching Technology), claimed to result in efficiencies of better than 99% with negligible EMI. Elmo’s design philosophy is that “the best way to dissipate heat is not to generate it in the first place”. 

The drive is a member of Elmo’s Gold Line series of servodrives and can be used with its Elmo Application Studio II software to optimise the control of any servo mechanism. 

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