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What is Motion Control Technology?

By definition, motion control is the control of position, speed, and acceleration. Because motion control involves real objects, this technology requires more precision and reliability than other disciplines. The degree of precision needed depends on the application and the job being performed. Generally, we think of motion control as the use of servo and/or stepper systems to move something else. A motion control system is typically capable of very precise speeds, positions, and torque control. Any application that requires the exact positioning of the product, the synchronization of separate elements, or a rapid start and stop motion can be an excellent candidate for motion control.

Fluid Power and Motion Control

Motion control is a cutting-edge, new, and exciting technology. Fluid power is tied to the future of motion control technology and its application because motion control includes both fluid power actuation and power transmission, as well as electronics, physics, kinematics, and other technical specialties.

While motion control technology is separate from fluid power they are still interrelated. Looking at the advances already made in electrically actuated machine tools and robots, we learn a great deal about how these two technologies work together. When you apply motion-control technology, it increases machine productivity, reliability, product uniformity, and ultimately customer satisfaction while helping you to reduce manufacturing costs.

Designing Motion Control Systems

The design of electrohydraulic and electro-pneumatic motion control systems can be challenging. You must understand the hydromechanical resonant frequency of a system in order to understand how it limits a machine’s maximum possible cycle rate. The physics of motion control, such as the synthesis of a motion control profile, the proper sizing of a control valve to achieve the required degree of control, and discussion of frequency response and system bandwidth all must be fleshed out in order to design these systems.

The Motion Control System

So to design a motion control system, you will have three basic components: the controller, the drive(or amplifier), and the motor. The controller plans the path or trajectory calculations and then sends low-voltage command signals to the drive. The drive then applies the proper voltage and current to the motor. This provides you with the motion you are looking for. Servo systems follow a closed-loop fashion and vary their output torque in order to move to and stay at the desired position; stepper systems, on the other hand, provide open-loop position control.