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issue: July 2007 APPLIANCE Magazine

Motor Technology
A Package Deal

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A new digital motor features an integrated pulse width modulation (PWM) controller to offer office and medical appliance engineers an all-in-one design.

The controls used in the type 22B/FV or 34B/FV INTEGRAmotors from Chicago, IL-based Bodine accept PWM input from an external motion controller or programmable logic controller (PLC). They feature amplifier enable, direction input, dynamic braking, a built-in 256PPR, and a two-channel encoder.

Part of Bodine Electric Company’s INTEGRAmotor line, the new motor includes all four elements of a typical motion control system—a control, a brushless dc motor, a gearhead, and an optical encoder. The new PWM models combine a 24-V brushless dc motor with a built-in, open-loop, voltage-mode PWM controller.

According to Mike Marhoefer, Bodine’s engineering manager for BLDC and control technology, the enabling technologies for the product are the ability to produce a compact, efficient, quiet gearbox and a compact, inexpensive digital amplifier assembly with integrated position or velocity feedback. This, he says, offers designers several advantages. “OEMs that have a microcontroller with enough available capacity can create a closed-loop position or velocity control system in software, and with only a few TTL level I/O lines, can support full motion control,” Marhoefer explains. “[There is] no need to design the power electronics or deal with the cabling typically found between a brushless motor and the controller. Since the feedback device is integrated in the design, there is no need to deal with the mechanics of an encoder installation and alignment.”

In fact, Marhoefer says the motor was specifically created to make the designer’s life easier. “We were engaged in several development projects for major OEM customers involving brushless dc systems. It became apparent that Bodine could add significant additional value by moving some of the typical assembly tasks required into the motor assembly,” he explains.

One of the product’s first applications was in a high-volume copier. “The customer wanted to provide a high-torque geared motor solution in a module that had a main power supply and connections back to the main controller,” Marhoefer says. “We designed the controller to meet their design interface specifications and provided inputs for controlling motor speed, direction, and an output for velocity feedback.”

Because the amplifier and feedback were included in the motor assembly, Marhoefer says the customer was able to focus on the software development related to optimizing the motion control without the additional need to specify or design the feedback device and amplifier they had traditionally developed with new products in the past.

To create the new motor solution, a compact single PC board assembly was designed to mount directly on the motor housing. The encoder assembly is integrated with the controller, commutation, and power electronics, eliminating the interconnects normally provided with cabling between the amplifier, feedback, and controller devices.

The motor’s PWM control digitally encodes analog signal levels by using high-resolution counters. These counters convert the analog signal into a series of digital pulses of dc current. Marhoefer says that compared to analog controls, digital PWM controls can significantly lower system costs and power consumption. “The integral control also minimizes electromagnetic interference (EMI),” he adds.

Installation requires mounting the motor using the standard mounting bolt pattern and plugging in a single connector that provides connections to the system power supply and connections to the controller. “It is no more difficult than installing a motor by itself,” Marhoefer says, “and [is] considerably easier than dealing with all of the connections normally associated with a discrete controller, amplifier, encoder, and gearmotor.”

Suppliers mentioned in this article:
Bodine Electric Company

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