Stepper Drives

Stepper systems (motor + drive) are open-loop systems which accept digital step & direction inputs provided by an "indexer" or "motion controller" which is basically a programmable pulse generator. Step & direction commands are typically generated from a PLC (programmable logic controller), signal generator, PC or programmable motion controller. The sequence of command pulses is "translated" into motion of the motor by the drive ("translator"). The result is a very cost effective all-digital Smart Motion System.

Steppper Drive Functionality View More

The function of the stepper drive is to sequentially regulate the current into the motor phase windings in order to produce the desired motion. The switching scheme used in a drive (full-step, half-step, mini-step or micro-step) in combination with the mechanical construction of the motor determines the system resolution in discrete motor steps per revolution (steps/rev). While heat considerations ultimately limit the maximum torque from a given motor/drive system, the torque generated at speed is largely a function of the drive's ability to overcome the inductance of the motor windings and push the maximum current into the phase windings as quickly as possible without over-heating. 

There are many different types of stepper drives designed to accomplish this task (L/R, unipolar, bipolar, PWM/chopper, recirculating chopper, etc.).

When using a hybrid step motor, it is not recommended to use either a L/R or voltage drive. These drives provide constant voltage which create heat during operation and as a result will increase the motor's resistance. Any change to the motor's resistance will change the current supplied. Using a constant current drive, such as PWM/chopper drive, for all applications with hybrid motors is recommended. Note:  when using tin-can (can-stack) motors, these limits do not apply.

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