How Do Servo Motors Work?

A servo motor refers to a rotary actuator that makes possible exact control of the angular position. The typical servo motor is made up of a motor with a sensor attached for feedback when it comes to position. Despite their small size, servo motors have many applications and are particularly energy-efficient. Read this article to learn more about how servo motors work.

How Do Servo Motors Work?

If you were to take apart a servo motor, you would find a control circuit, a potentiometer, and a DC motor. Gears attach the motor to the control wheel. The control circuit is able to determine direction and amount of movement based on the resistance the potentiometer experiences as the motor rotates.

Electrical pulses are used to send the desired position to the motor. Once the motor’s shaft reaches the final position, the power is cut off. Proportional control is used to move the motor to the right position. If the motor is far away from the correct position, it will move quickly.

A common misconception that many people have is that a servo motor and a servo drive are one and the same. A servo drive is a type of electric amplifier that is responsible for powering electric servomechanisms. The servo drive is responsible for receiving signals from the control system and responding by sending an electric current to the servo motor.

Types of Servo Motors

There are different types of servo motors, each with different applications. Some examples of servo motors include AC, DC, linear, continuous rotation, brushless DC, and positional rotation. The most common type of servo motor is the positional rotation. The output shaft of the positional rotation servo motor rotates 180 degrees. There are physical stops installed to prevent the motor from rotating further than 180 degrees. Typically, this type of servo motor is found in radio-controlled toys and robots.

Servo Motor Applications

Servo motors have a wide variety of applications, such as operating grippers and elevators. The typical servo motor is small, yet packs a lot of power. The built-in control circuitry is also a major plus. Servo motors can be used in harsher environments, such as those typically found in pharmaceuticals and food services. The risk of corrosion is often significant in these industries due to the use of high temperatures and pressures. Servo motors are also often used for in-line manufacturing, which demands a lot of precision and repetition.

If you’re considering whether a servo motor might be the right part for the job, it helps to know how one works first. For more information about how a servo motor and a servo drive works, don’t hesitate to contact us.


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