Engineering Notes by Oriental Motor

Improve Stepper Motor Performance Further with Advanced 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 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 the performance further.  

In this post, we will discuss 3 main advantages of using a CVD driver with a PKP Series stepper motor.  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 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   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 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.

Topics: Increase Torque, Reducing Vibration, Increase Stop Accuracy, Stepper Motors, Stepper Motor Drivers, Higher Efficiency, 2-Phase, Position Control, Improve Performance

Johann Tang

Written by Johann Tang

Johann Tang is a Product Specialist at Oriental Motor USA Corp. with over 15 years of expert knowledge and experience supporting applications of various types of electric motors, gearheads, actuators, drivers, and controllers.

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