When an athlete needs to give 110% for the final drive for a touchdown or the jump to get the winning slam-dunk, they turn up the power and succeed when people didn’t think it was possible. Induction motors, however, can’t do this because of the way they’re built. In fact, most induction motors, also known as stepper-motors, only operate in the low-90% efficiency range, meaning your company is losing money. Servo motors, on the other hand, can operate at 100% all the time.
A recent article from FoodProcessing.com explains the differences–at one plant servo motors allowed one company to pack 33% more bags per minute, compared with the stepper design they had previously used. But the problem for many manufacturers is that servo motors and systems, like those from Indramat and Rexroth, are significantly more expensive than stepper-motor setups. So how do you decide to make the move to invest in servo motors and why should you?
It’s an investment
First, take a look at your opportunities for production. Are you struggling to meet demand for your customers? If you’ve got more demand than you can provide for with your current stepper-motors, it’s definitely time to invest in a servo motor system. The increased production will allow for higher profits and will quickly cover the cost of your investment because you’ll be able to answer demand more readily. While the total cost of production will be higher at first, the increase in production will spread out the cost to more units produced and mitigate the investment.
So other than higher production rates, why would you want to invest in servo motors and servo drives? While the investment cost is higher, the maintenance cost over the life of the motor for a servo drive is much cheaper and less regular than for a stepper-motor. We’ve seen servo motors that were made decades ago that have never had problems or needed repairs done. If that doesn’t speak to the reliability of Rexroth and Indramat servo motors, we don’t know what does!