What are servo systems? In a nutshell, servo systems are closed-loop control systems that use different servo drives and mechanisms. Essentially, these are mechanisms that are used in various forms of mechanical and electronic devices that monitor, provide feedback and correct negative movement and other functions. There are a lot of models of servo systems and their components, and they comes from sizes fit for whole factories to some as small as PC hard drive components.
Technically, servo systems provide an alternative to standard AC and DC motors in creating mechanical force. Some use hydraulics, pneumatics or magnetics to power their functions. You could say that servo systems are almost identical to AC and DC motors in that they generate force.
The common uses for servo systems are for position control, speed control and a whole host of other functions. As mentioned previously, servos are found everywhere since users and manufacturers want their processes to self-adjust and be very easy to use.
With position control, servo systems most often have desired values of certain functions inputted in them and at the same time are able to look at actual values that are logged during the process. When there is a deviation from the desired value and actual value, the servo automatically amplifies and directs the system to correct the mistake. Ina normal AC or DC motor setup, the controller has to observe the discrepancies and input the changes himself.
Speed control as a servo system function is always found in gas turbines such as planes and other large vehicles. The servo drives regulate the flow and usage of fuel and adjust whenever there is too much or too little.
Now, there are other uses for servo systems such as navigation, gun controls and other military equipment, aircraft, auto-focus cameras and hard disk drives. Tiny servo systems are responsible for adjusting the small errors that happen during professional and personal use of these devices.
But why are they better than AC or DC motors and why are they found in almost any device today? This is because of their ability to amplify, convert and correct the discrepancies in values thanks to the algorithms that they’re programmed with. Their functions replace the human aspect of correction and control to some extent
What should you look for in servo systems? How do you know that you’ve bought one that’s right for your factory or mechanical needs? Here are some things you have to look for:
- Precise control. You’re always looking for a servo motor and a servo drive that can control up to the smallest incremental amounts, especially for certain industries that require precision.
- Maximum torque. Look for servo motors that have high holding and/or continuous torque.
- Connectivity. Arguable the most important part of the servo system, the connectivity should be able to reach your whole system and be compatible with standard Ethernet fieldbuses and devices. If you already have an Ethernet adapter in use, make sure that the servo drive is compatible with your model.
- Portability and compact design. The smaller it is, the easier it is to operate, position and check.
- Less wiring and configuration. Look for the simplest servo drives with the least wiring you can find. This lessens complication and means that you have lesser things to configure and analyse.
- Compliance with current ISO standards. Since there are a lot of servo system manufacturers, it’s important that you look at ISO standards to help you decide on which model is best in the industry and up to date with their international compliance.
For more on servo systems, read: http://www.servotronix.com