Engineering Notes by Oriental Motor

Improve Performance Further with 3 Advanced Stepper Motor Driver Features

[fa icon="calendar"] Dec 1, 2018 12:00:00 PM / by Johann Tang

Johann Tang

There are many stepper motor manufacturers in the market place, but there are even more stepper motor driver manufacturers.  The crowded market place provides many standard product options for customers to build their motion control system just the way they like it. 

However, if the best possible performance is desired, it would be difficult to beat a tested combination of a specific motor and driver from the same manufacturer.  By combining R&D knowledge from both motors and drivers, unique product features can be developed to improve performance further.  

In this post, we discuss 3 main features of the CVD stepper motor drivers that were designed to improve the performance of stepper motors: stable torque output even when microstepping, high efficiency components for high current output, and why buying both motors and drivers from the same manufacturer is better.  There's also a video at the bottom of this post that summarizes the features.

 ADVANTAGE 1: Consistent Torque Output Even When Microstepping 

Microstepping is a driver function that electrically subdivides the full step angle of a stepper motor in order to increase resolution or decrease vibration and noise.  Traditionally, inconsistent torque output or position accuracy are problems resulting from microstepping.  Due to individual motor phase current detectors as well as sine wave current drive technology, the CVD drivers can regulate torque more precisely even when microstepping.

Consistent torque output due to better current control

Learn how microstepping works

 ADVANTAGE 2: High Efficiency, Low Heat Design 

To increase the motor torque, the current from the driver to the motor must be increased.  However, increasing the current also increases the operating temperature for the driver, which can limit duty cycle or decrease life of the driver.  The CVD drivers utilized a low heat, high efficiency design, which makes it possible to apply a higher current to the motors.

  • Adoption of more efficient FETs for better heat transfer from the components to the PCB.  On resistance of new FETs are 1/20th of conventional FETs.
  • Improved heat transfer circuit board design helps minimize footprint.  No heat sink is required.

CVD driver FET and PCB

Conventional driver   CVD advanced microstepping driver
Conventional driver temperature distribution Reduce heat generation, increased torque CVD driver temperature distribution

With a stepper motor and driver that's rated for higher current, high speed torque can be increased without changing the motor size.

NEMA 23 2-phase stepper motor 2.8 A/ph  Arrow NEMA 23 2-phase stepper motor 4.2 A/ph Increased torque with higher current

 ADVANTAGE 3: Unmatched Performance 

CVD driver's low vibration performance

The CVD driver offers superior low vibration and noise characteristics by using a new, fully digital, full-time microstepping control circuit. The new Smooth Drive microstepping feature reduces the basic step angle to a maximum resolution of 2048.  As a result, significantly reduced step vibration in the low speed range is achieved. For the mid speed ranges, the motor vibration has been suppressed, thus enabling more stable torque characteristics.  

In general, stop accuracy of stepper motors are worse when microstepping.  Stop accuracy can be better due to improved current control from the CVD drivers; even when microstepping.

Stepper motor vibration comparison

Watch the following video to learn how the CVD drivers can improve the performance of stepper motors.

If you wish to learn more about the features of our CVD driver in depth, please read our white paper.

Watch related product videos or size your next stepper motor with our motor sizing tool.


There are multiple product lines of CVD drivers. 
If you need help, please discuss your requirements with our team.

CVD Drivers for 2-Phase Stepper Motors

CVD Drivers for 5-Phase Stepper Motors

CVK-SC Series Speed Control Stepper Motors

Newest: S-Type

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Topics: Stepper Motors, Smooth Drive, VIDEOS

Johann Tang

Written by Johann Tang

Johann Tang is a Product Specialist at Oriental Motor USA Corp. with 20+ years of experience in sales, technical application support, and training of various types of fractional horsepower electric motors, gear motors, actuators, drivers, and controllers. Feel free to ask him questions on Linkedin.

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