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Intelligent stepper controller provides servo functionality

Intelligent stepper controller provides servo functionality
Festo has launched an intelligent stepper motor controller which employs encoder-based feedback to deliver true servo functionality using low-cost stepper motor technology. The new CMMS-ST motor controller, in conjunction with the company's new EMMS-ST series stepper motors, enables machine designers and builders to implement high positional accuracy motion control systems extremely cost-effectively.

Designed primarily for cost-sensitive applications that demand servo functionality but without needing high peak speeds, the CMMS-ST controller and EMMS-ST stepper motor combination delivers up to 6.5Nm torque and speeds up to 2000rpm. It is ideal for single and multi-axis applications with loads up to 20kg.

A key advantage of using closed loop feedback is that the stepper motor is always operating at maximum efficiency and cannot suffer step loss; if the motor is overloaded, the position controller automatically compensates for following error and maintains position tracking. This means that unlike an open loop stepper system, it is not necessary to oversize the motor to handle an application's peak torque demands, allowing use of smaller, less expensive units. Other operational benefits include better smoothness, lower acoustic noise levels, and absence of mechanical resonance. Although many stepper drives offer the options of closed loop facilities, these generally only offer alarm functionality in case of step error. The CMMS-ST offers true servo functionality with full control of current, speed and position.

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