When building modern motor-generated equipment there is a general requirement for smooth running, efficiency and more importantly cost-effectiveness. These requirements don’t stop at the motor itself but also when choosing the right motor controller.
So, why is it so important?
In short motor controllers are the devices which communicate to the motor when to start and when to stop spinning. Controllers are an essential part of a system requiring start-stop actions, speed management and safety features. a brushless motor must have a controller to operate. These controllers can be integrated into the motor housing or most commonly an external controller can be used.
An electronic controller manipulates the position, speed and torque of a DC brushless motor, although there are applications within other DC motor types. With DC motors, reducing the speed automatically reduces the torque of a motor, meaning a DC motor is relatively easy to control.
Controllers are able to control one motor or a group of motors as required as well as heaters, brakes and clutches. As a device, they are particularly diverse and have a wide range of applications.
The controllers have two main functions – to start and stop the motor. The role of the starter is to provide enough current to start the engine and to generate adequate torque to do so.
What does a motor controller do?
There are ten main functions of a motor controller which are:
- Starting the motor
- Stopping the motor
- Over-current protection
- Overload protection
- Speed changing
- Sequence control
- Pilot light indication.
Applications of a motor controller
As with most AC and DC motors, the applications of a motor controller are wide and include space and aviation applications, factory and process automation, flight control systems and the medical industry. The appropriate application very much relies on the specifications of the individual project which can include the motor type, the loop system classification, power rating, communication interface and drive operating mode.
There are two main types of controllers, the AC and the DC motor controllers.
- AC motor controllers – they are also called variable speed drives and are used primarily to control the speed of pumps, fans and blowers.
- DC Motor Controllers – these modify the input power by using a varying pulse instead of a constant or alternating current source.
There are many different controllers to suit different applications which makes it tricky to specify but if you are looking for a small but powerful PWM servo controller the SC 50/15 could be just what your project needs.
A servo motor controller is used primarily to control speed and torque and is particularly useful in manufacturing and construction applications where motion control is required. These are suitable for both AC and DC motors and are ideal for robotics, automation and spindle drive systems.
The SC 50/15 controller is a compact but powerful 4-quadrant PWM servo controller which makes for efficient controlling of permanent magnet DC (PMDC) and brushless DC (BLDC) motors up to approximately 750 Watts. The controller can be configured via DIP switch and potentiometer settings for several functions and feedback options meaning it is a versatile choice.