Sensored Brushless Motors For Precise, Accurate Control Of Movement
Sensored brushless motors are DC motion control devices that feature special sensors, which contribute to special operational capabilities. They provide efficiency, precision, and longevity in many different electronic applications, especially where accurate and smooth control of movement is needed.
In general, brushless motors can be divided into sensored and sensorless varieties. Sensorless brushless motors use an electronic speed controller, also called an ESC, which is characterized as brushless or sensorless. Brushless motors without sensors use this controller to maintain operation.
In brushless DC motors, this is carried out through an electronic servo system, which feeds direct current to the motor’s stator and generates an electromagnetic field. The resistance between this field and the permanent magnets of the rotor causes rotational motion. This action converts DC electrical power into mechanical energy.
Brushless motors, whether sensored or sensorless, are a significant improvement on brushed motors. These are DC motors that were once a standard before the development of solid-state electronics in the middle of the twentieth century. Prior to the incorporation of the electronic servo control system, DC motors used carbon brushes as the commutator that feeds electrical current to the stator.
A carbon brush commutator is effective at conducting electricity and creating a sliding current that drives the electromagnetic activity in the stator. However, this part amounts to many limitations regarding the motor’s operation, longevity, and other factors affecting performance.
As a mechanical element, the carbon brush generates friction and is subject to wear. This increases the motor’s size, weight, and its operational temperature. The overall operational life of a brushed DC motor is limited to the inevitable wear down of the carbon brush. This component also poses some potential for sparking, which can be a fire hazard in certain applications.
Worn-out brushed DC motors can be restored by replacing the carbon brush. This maintenance requirement, combined with other disadvantages, has contributed to the phase-out of brushed motors in favor of brushless motors. Brushed motors are still used in some non-critical, low-power applications, but the advantages and availability of brushless motors have amounted to widespread phaseout.
The innovation of the brushless motor has amounted to significant improvements in DC motion control. Brushless motors operate smoothly and spark-free. With fewer mechanical components, friction, weight, and heat are greatly reduced. This makes it possible to scale motors up or down to the needs of many applications. They are used for high-power, heavy-duty industrial placements, as well as compact settings, including hand-held cordless tools.
One of the greatest advantages of brushless motors compared to brushed styles is their increased longevity, which is mostly limited to the life of the bearings. This means that brushless motors require less maintenance and offer long-term reliability in critical capacities.
The addition of positional sensors in sensored brushless motors amounts to some unique performance capabilities. These feedback sensors are used to provide information to the motor’s control regarding the position of the router, making it possible to achieve precise synchronization with the drive pattern.
The result is a closed-loop system that fosters highly accurate motion control. Sensored brushless motors start up their drive pattern very quickly and efficiently, which is beneficial in applications that need a quick start-up and control of motion.
Sensored brushless motors can be used as servo motors or stepper motors in robotic, positioning, and actuation systems. They are best suited to short-duty cycles where moderate-power is needed. They are incorporated into many automated systems, including manufacturing equipment used for painting, welding, and other machinery-driven processes.
Sensored brushless motors are best suited to applications where precise positioning and accurate movement are required. They can output a substantial amount of torque at low speeds. These motors will need to be paired with a sensored motor controller.
If an application needs high-speed, continuous motion control for long duty cycles, sensorless brushless motors will be better suited to such performance parameters. Sensorless brushless motors are usually applied to equipment that needs continuous motion, such as fans, drills, pumps, and propulsion systems in electric vehicles, belts, and a range of other equipment.
Sensored brushless motors also do not offer the same endurance capabilities as sensorless brushless motors, mainly due to the potential sensitivity of the positional sensors.
Sensored brushless motors can be used in critical and non-critical capacities. When applied to aerospace, military, transportation, or intensive industrial settings, important consideration should be given to the motor’s design and materials, especially the insulation. This will be vital to preventing interference due to moisture, dirt, dust, and other particle contaminants, and the effects of temperature fluctuations and extremes.
When such environmental factors are controlled and when the motor is properly-suited to its application and operational parameters, sensored brushless motors will deliver a long-lasting performance that is virtually maintenance-free.
Sensored brushless motors can be acquired as direct drop-in parts from suppliers of standard electronic components and from electric motor manufacturers. These motors can be easily incorporated into conventional systems when parameters like phase number, voltage, RPM/speed, and the housing/frame dimensions, and overall motor size are properly accounted for.
When a solution is needed for an original piece of equipment or unique application, or when an enhanced version of a motor is needed to improve a standard application, sensored brushless motors can be modified to meet with many custom requirements and operational demands.
Custom sensored motors are best obtained from motor manufacturers that extend their design, engineering, and production services to individual clients.
Other capabilities to consider when choosing a sensored brushless motor manufacturer are built-to-print services, which are especially useful when previous motor designs or hardware need to be updated or modified to meet with new demands.
Custom winding assemblies, special sealing and potted coil production, and other capabilities are valuable when high-performance and extended-endurance are needed in a motion control device.