There are motors everywhere; from the cars to the electric home appliances, computers and toys; literally every other thing contains a motor and especially in robotics the stepper motor has made its prominence. In fact, in each application where precision control is the primary objective, the stepper more becomes an integral part of the application.
The stepper motors come with two distinct types that include unipolar stepper motor and bipolar stepper motor. The basic difference between these two types is the winding architecture. While unipolar stepping motor has three phases per lead, the bipolar has two phases per lead.
Let’s find out the right way of using the stepping motor for the best results because if you fail to understand the mechanism, then you are running into the risk of mismatching the motor with the application requirements that would only yield issues.
- The Torque Problems
The lack of understanding of the torque results in two distinct problems. The below mentioned are the explanations.
Inadequate torque at speed: the stepping motors are designed to perform the best at a certain speed range. And most of the time people use high-speed motors in a low-speed application that results in pulling more power than what it actually needs.
In spite of more power, the motor will stall because of less torque. And if you reverse the application that means if you use the low-speed motor at a high-speed application the result will remain the same.
Inertial mismatch: The mismatch between the motor and the load can hamper the acceleration of the motor. The motor size should match the load size; a mismatch can result in a stall and the motor might fail to accelerate the heavy and unstable load.
It could also create resonance and loud noise followed by jittery motion and wrong steps. When the load does not match the capability of the high torque motor, everything is galvanized through the resonance. An Optical Encoder could be useful in understanding the pattern.
- Understand Micro Stepping
If you do not understand the objective of the micros stepping, you can create a number of problems that you might find the difficult handle and in the worst cases, it can result in false steps. The primary purpose of the micro stepping is to streamline and smooth the shocks caused by steps.
When you misapply micro stepping, you reduce the amount of the torque that the motor can produce, which then asks you to get a bigger motor. Therefore, it is advisable to use servo motor if you do not understand the micro stepping. If you choose a wrong motor then the motor will not be able to move the load. Hence, make sure that you consider the mechanism’s frictional aspect before you get the motor.
- Get the Size Right
Choosing the right size for the application is the first step towards successful implementation. If you apply an undersized motor, then you are likely to witness excessive heat, abrupt acceleration, and deceleration, it can also lose pulses resulting in improper positioning and in some cases the motor might just stall.
And an oversized motor will produce high EMI/RFI resulting in loud noise. Since you are applying a bigger motor, you will be investing more money and space to accommodate a bigger size motor.
By using stepper motor linear actuator, you can achieve better motion because the actuator will enable the motor move in a straight line rather than only moving in a circular pattern.
- The Bottom-Line
The stepper motor is the cheapest solution, but you have to consider the positioning, make sure that the drive is matching, the voltage should be adequate. You also need to consider the voltage and current needs.
And to arrive at a conclusion, you have to assess your project requirements properly. If you are a newbie in the industry, then you might find it a little complex, hence it is advisable that you seek help. Most of the times, the stepping motor suppliers have a technical support team who could guide you through the whole process.
If you do not find such suppliers, then you should join an online forum where you can ask your questions to techies who are quite familiar with stepping motor application. You can also read online resources to understand the mechanism and application of the stepping motor solution.
It is not difficult to understand the mechanism and importance of the stepping motor’s application in the precision control projects. However, it could be a little tricky in getting the right kind of stepping motor for the project if you do not understand the implications.
The bottom line is; you have to understand the application and the mechanical aspect of the stepper motor for your project. And with understanding, you will get the clarity. In fact, if you apply intelligence, you will understand it quickly. It does not need anything more than common sense.