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Servo controller module aids sensorless BLDC operation

27 Nov 2013

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Maxon Motor is expanding its ESCON servo controller family with the launch of the ESCON Module 50/4 EC-S. Developed for permanent-magnet activated, sensorless brushless direct current (BLDC) motors, the miniaturised plug-in module features a four-quadrant pulse width modulation and a Hall sensor-free design that helps minimise wiring and system costs. The ESCON Module 50/4 EC-S boasts a 97 per cent efficiency and provides easy navigation through a graphical user interface.

The drift-free yet extremely dynamic speed behaviour in the Module 50/4-EC-S enables speeds up to 120,000rpm and provides extensive functionality with free configurable digital and analogue inputs/outputs. It can be operated in speed controller (closed loop) and speed controller (open loop). All these features create ideal conditions for the use in cost sensitive applications as well as elevated reliability requirements. Users of the module can fully focus on the development of their own device. For the motor control part, they can make use of Maxon Motor's vast drive know-how already, while a detailed motherboard design guide is available for integration to OEM PCBs and a suitable motherboard makes initial commissioning an easy task.

The compact servo controller is controlled by an analogue set value. It can be specified by means of analogue voltage, by external or internal potentiometer, by defined value, or by means of a PWM signal with variable duty cycle. Other interesting features the ability to enable or disable the power stage depending on the direction of rotation as well as sensorless acceleration and deceleration by employment of defined speed ramps.

The ESCON Module 50/4 EC-S features protective circuitry against over-current, excess temperature, under-voltage and over-voltage, voltage transients and short-circuits in the motor cable. It also is equipped with protected digital inputs and outputs and adjustable current limitation to protect motor and load. Motor current and actual motor shaft speed can be monitored by means of analogue output voltage.

The large input voltage and operating temperature ranges allow flexible use in almost all drive solutions. Low system complexity of sensorless operation opens fields of application demanding high reliability, such as medical devices for ventilation and respiration therapy, surgery power tools, or in the dental industry.

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