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issue: January 2005 APPLIANCE Magazine

Motor Technology
Stepper Motors


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The Portescap Turbo Disc™ stepper motors from Danaher Motion (Wood Dale, IL, U.S.) are said to provide dynamic incremental moves for maximum throughput in medical appliance applications.

Danaher Motion’s Portescap Turbo Disc™ stepper motors are said to feature high resolution in a small package. The 10-mm model, for example, features a 15-degree step angle providing 24 steps per revolution.

The stepper motors feature an advanced, patented design that the company says sets them apart from competitive stepper motor technologies. According to Dave Beckstoffer, product manager, the rotor consists of a rare earth magnet with a proprietary magnetization method that provides much smaller step angles than conventional two-phase permanent magnet stepper motors. The rotor design is said to provide a very low moment of inertia for outstanding acceleration and dynamic behavior.

“Coupled with high peak speeds, any incremental movement is carried out in the shortest possible time,” explains Mr. Beckstoffer. Low inertia also results in high start/stop frequencies, which the company says can solve certain motion challenges without applying a ramp.

Mr. Beckstoffer explains that this might be useful in a medical device that needs to make a small linear move in a short period of time. “This can be achieved because the low inertia of the disc magnet step motor allows for the quick movement,” he explains. “This cannot be achieved by a standard hybrid or can stack step motor.”

The stepper motors also feature a sinusoidal torque function with low harmonic distortion and low detent torque, as well as excellent static and dynamic accuracy for any position, and under any load or speed conditions. In addition, the company says an independent magnetic circuit eliminates the coupling between phases for superior angular resolution in microstep mode.

An optimally dimensioned iron circuit made of SiFe laminations, with coils placed near the air gap, reportedly reduces iron losses and provides more torque at high step rates. The result is high peak torques, high speeds, and high power/volume ratios.

According to Mr. Beckstoffer, typical hybrid stepper motors are limited to 2,000 rpm before a dynamic torque drop. The Danaher’s disc stepper motors, he says, can easily reach 5,000 rpm.

Typical medical applications include infusion pumps, pipette drives, and medical analyzers. All of the stepper motors have optional gearboxes, and the larger size models are available with an encoder.

Mr. Beckstoffer explains that this might be useful in a medical device that needs to make a small linear move in a short period of time. “This can be achieved because of the low inertia of the disc magnet step motor allows for the quick movement,” he explains. “This cannot be achieved by a standard hybrid or can stack step motor.”

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