Market Intelligence Report: Motion, Drives and Motors

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An electronic survey of Control Design readers was conducted in February 2014 in order to identify usage and application trends in motion, drives and motor technology among the industrial machine builders that comprise Control Design's readership. Detailed survey results are presented on the pages that follow, with key findings summarized below:

  • Nearly 69% of respondents report using servo motors, 52.5% are using standard motors, and 26% are using stepper motors. With regards to efficiency motors respondents indicated high-efficiency motor use at nearly 43% and premium-efficiency motors use at 33%.
  • The majority (67%) of respondents who use servo motors report they are mostly digital drive technology; 33% use mostly analog drives.
  • 47% of respondents who use stepper motors use open-loop steppers; 53% use closed-loop.
  • In terms of the importance of performance characteristics for their drive systems, position control and speed control were ranked "most important" by 68.3% and 43.3% of respondents respectively; 31.7% of respondents indicated Torque control as "most important."
  • Respondents who use a digital bus indicated use of EtherNet/IP at 44%; CAN/CANopen at 16% and SERCOS/SERCOS III at a further 4%. The remaining digital bus usage for motion control showed EtherCat 8%, Powerlink, (8%), Profinet (6%) and CC-Link (6%).
  • Regarding update rates, 9.8% of respondents indicated they required the slowest rate of 500 msec or slower while 5.9% indicated the ultra-higher update rate of faster than 100 msec. 31.4% of respondents require an update rate of 99 – 1 msec; 29.4% require 999 – 100 μsec; while 23.5% require 499 – 100 msec.
  • Finally, we polled our readers to find out their biggest motion control challenges. The integration of electronic and mechanical components was cited as the top challenge. More precision/less drift and faster updates/better synchronizat ion rounded out the top three challenges. (see chart for complete details).