Motion control has continued to evolve over the past decade. Additionally, each new iteration of motors and drives opens up improved performance, intelligence, monitoring, networking and integration.
It hasn’t been that long since servo systems were able to move out of the cabinet and closer to the motor with a decentralized system that can be integrated with a hybrid cable. As drives and motors are integrated, this creates new increases in intelligence capabilities, as well. As drives become smarter, with the ability to perform more sophisticated control tasks, commissioning, diagnostics and maintenance also are improved. Real-time information can be trended. And external sensors are no longer needed to monitor signatures, so problems can be identified, diagnosed and corrected sooner in motors and motor control centers.
Users of variable frequency drives (VFDs) and servos also now have the ability to match power with their applications, so they’re only paying for what they need. And applying decentralized servos with drives integrated with the individual motors and machines, in lieu of in cabinets, offers more flexible machine-design options and changes.
New regulatory changes, such as the Small Motor Rule and the Integral Horespower Rule, also will impact what machine builders are able to buy from vendors in the future. Special notice should be taken to adjust motor footprints in existing machines, as well as future builds.
In this Control Design State of Technology Report, we will examine the current state of motors, drives and motion control and point the way to advances to come.