Stepper motor and the elements of motion control explained!

Stepper motorStepper motor is a brushless DC electric motor. This particular motor divides a full rotation into a number of equal steps. Thus, the one characteristic of a stepper motor that stands out is the repetition of the mentioned steps. Those steps, in addition, can move and hold without any feedback sensor. That is if we size the motor to the application in respect to speed and torque.

A brushless DC electric motor, on the other hand, is a synchronous motor that gets power from a DC electric source. This happens via an integrated switching power supply. Thus, it produces an AC electric signal to drive the motor.
When DC voltage is applied to the terminals, a DC brushless motor rotates continuously. So, the stepper motor converts a train of input pulses into an increment in the shaft position. This means that each pulse moves the shaft through a very precise and fixed angle.

Stepper motor and the elements of motion control explained!

Stepper motorThe stepper motor has multiple “toothed” electromagnets. These electromagnets are around a central gear-shaped piece of iron. A micro controller is what actually energizes them.

First, one electromagnet gets power and attracts the gear’s teeth. When that gear teeth aligns with the first electromagnet, they offset from the other electromagnet. The result from this action is turning on the next and turning off the first one. In this way, the gear rotates slightly and the process continues to repeat itself. Each of those rotations is called a “step” and a certain number of steps make a full rotation.

Furthermore, the stepper motor consists of 3 basic elements combined with a user interface:

Indexers – a microprocessor that directions signals for the driver and generates step pulses. In addition, it also performs many other sophisticated command functions.
Drivers – they convert the indexer command signals into power. This power actually energizes the motor windings. Mind that not all drivers are suitable for all motors. This makes the driver selection process quite critical.
Stepper motor – the motor itself is an electromagnetic device that manages to covert digital pulses into mechanical shaft rotations.

For more information, check out the video below!