What is it?
The term ‘servo’ refers to a control mechanism that uses negative feedback to sense and correct errors. This control strategy, when applied to motors, results in increased precision and efficiency.
How does it work?
A servo system consists of a drive, motor, and feedback device. First, the drive sends an electrical signal to the motor indicating a desired output. Then, a sensor located on the motor reads the motor’s output and sends an electrical signal back to the drive. The drive then compares the motor output to the desired output and adjusts accordingly to eliminate error.
In addition to a feedback controller, servo systems typically consist of a permanent magnet motor that responds more quickly to changing commands than a standard induction motor.
What are the most appropriate applications?
This technology is best suited for applications that require precise and repeatable motor control. For these reasons, servo motors are commonly seen in the robotics, automation, and machining industries. Servo motors are also used in the injection molding industry because they have the unique ability to maintain high pressures at zero speed.
What are the savings?
The energy savings associated with switching from a standard induction motor to a servo system depend on the application. Servo motors are more energy efficient than induction motors when operating over a range of speeds and when operating at low speeds.
What are the non-energy benefits?
Servo motors are more compact than their induction motor counterparts, which is beneficial when size and weight are critical. Additionally, servo motors are known to be extremely quiet at high speeds.
What is the cost?
Costs for servo motors depend on the manufacturer as well as the precision required. However, a servo motor is typically more expensive than an equivalent constant speed induction motor.
What is the status/availability of the technology?
This technology is readily available through multiple vendors.
What kinds of incentives/programs are available?
Incentives may be available through a Custom Rebate program.