What are Servo Motors and How Do They Work?
A servo motor, or servomotor, is a type of rotary or linear actuator that may be used to achieve precise control of position, velocity, and acceleration that is angular or linear. A standard servo motor will consist of a position feedback sensor with a matching motor, and they can be found in applications ranging from automated manufacturing processes to robotics. With their use stretching across a variety of industries, it can be useful to have a general understanding of their use and how they function.
While the term “servo motor” is often used to describe motors that are best used for closed-loop control systems, servo motors are not a type of motor class themselves. Implemented within closed-loop control systems, servo motors will generally consist of a control circuit, shaft, servo motor, potentiometer, amplifier, drive gear, and an encoder or resolver. Regardless of being implemented within a larger machine or system, the servo motor is still a self-contained device that can offer ample precision and efficiency for the benefit of moving assembly parts.
There are various reasons as to why one would want to use a servo motor over a standard motor, one of which is because servo motors can adjust their output shafts to meet specific angles, positions, and speeds unattainable by standard motor options. This is because a servo motor utilizes a position feedback sensor in addition to a standard motor, enhancing its abilities. One of the most crucial elements of a servo motor is the controller, which allows the apparatus to adjust angles, positions, and speeds with ease. In order to control the motor, an analog or digital electrical signal is used, that of which contains a command that determines the amount of movement the shaft will need to conduct.
While servo motors are found in a variety of industries and applications, they can be procured in three basic types that vary to accommodate different needs. The positional rotation servo is fairly common, and it has the ability to rotate upwards of 180 degrees. To prevent over-rotation, stops are implemented within the gearbox. For more freedom of rotation, the continuous rotation servo motor is useful. These apparatuses do not utilize the input signal to determine turning, instead relating the input to the speed of the output and the direction. Additionally, these servo motors can also rotate clockwise or counterclockwise based on one’s needs. The last type of servo motor is the linear servo, and this option features a rack and pinion mechanism that permits performance changes. With a rack and pinion assembly, such servo motors may also convert rotary motion into linear motion with ease.
Like many other moving assemblies and systems, servo motors will face regular wear and tear over use, eventually necessitating repairs and part replacements to continue functioning. \While most of the repair and replacement is fairly straightforward, feedback repair and realignment can be more difficult and must be conducted properly to ensure proper operational capability. As finding a servo repair company can sometimes be difficult as a result of servo repair complexity, it can be useful to do research on options early or have personnel trained on how to conduct repairs themselves. Luckily, there are many tutorials for servo repair processes online, so the learning process is not inaccessible to those that are interested in pursuing such endeavors.
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