Application of bus type stepping motor

Stepper motors are a great solution for accurate motion control. You will see them on many 3D printers because they can move each axis precisely. Steppers are found to be used in many robotic projects because they provide high torque and low speed.

Since steppers are commonly used in multi-axis control systems, it is good to be able to connect multiple motors to one controller. In the past, we have seen some stepping control modules, which are responsible for the control details and accept commands through SPI, I2C and UART. AnanasStepper2.0 is a new type of step controller that uses CAN bus for communication and was selected for the 2017 Hackaday Award.

The CAN bus has some advantages in this application. Multiple motors can be connected to a controller via a bus. At low bit rates, it can work for kilometer-long buses. The wiring is simple and cheap: the two wires are twisted together and there is no shielding requirement. It is also designed to be reliable in high-noise environments such as cars and trucks.

The project aims to implement an API that allows multiple types of controllers to be controlled, including Arduino, Linux CNC, several 3D printer controllers and desktop operating systems. With one of several Ananas Steppers, you can move things on multiple axes. The trends affecting today's motors and drives are the same as those affecting other manufacturing equipment. For example, want to adopt modular products, promote integration with existing production lines, or be easy to upgrade/replace over time. Customers also demand efficiency. This usually means drives that can handle more axes, motors that can provide more torque and speed, and both can be operated in a smaller package. Another major issue is maintaining safety as the power and operating speed of the production line increase. In addition, advanced automation and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) are increasing the need for connectivity.


This article will explore these changes in the motor and drive market

1.Eliminate line change

The cost of shutting down the production line to change tools or products is high. Traditional AC (AC) or DC motors can be restricted to a single row to index or process parts with multiple different sizes. Modern production lines are increasingly using advanced automation and robotics, and these robots benefit from an understanding of the location or stage of the motor.

The servo or stepper motor in the robot can reduce the need for downstream replacement and advanced equipment. For example, robotic arms and machine vision can work together to pick and place parts on a conveyor belt in a specific direction, or separate them based on size or specific products.

This new information is unifying the production line. Previously, one part of the production line might drive the product to the end of the assembly line, while another part (for example,) packaged the product into a box. By using servos and stepper motors to add more data communication and control, hardware can be reduced and a segmented production line can be combined. According to PR Newswire and, advanced automation and energy saving standards have led to the growth of servo motors and drives.

The motor design has advantages in continuous working applications without an encoder. Applications include power supply for conveyor equipment, escalators, valve slides, compressors and traction drive units. ABM Drives Sinochron is an example of continuous motors competing in efficiency and cost levels (saving up to 35% in energy costs).

Servo motors and stepper motors are more expensive than AC motors and DC motors. However, due to the benefits of advanced automation of indexing or position control applications, their usage has steadily increased. Generally, continuous or free-running motors have specific applications; therefore, servo and stepper motors are unlikely to replace them completely. In general, each motor has its own application. John Kowal, Business Development Director of B&R Industrial Automation, said: "Although the motor type is driven by applications, the reduced cost and increased functions have enabled servo motors to appear in new places." As the price of the server drops, box packaging machine designs are possible It will switch from mechanical equipment to server to compress the shell after indexing, plugging and gluing. Although this adds shafts, it also makes the machine more flexible, reduces labor, and reduces changes over time. The format change becomes a recipe change that does not require tools or changing parts. These benefits will outweigh any cost differences that these motors may produce. The driving factors to reduce the cost of servo motors are manufacturing technology and modularity

2.Replace custom moto

Many OEMs offer modular designs that can cost-effectively produce semi-custom servo and stepper motors. In addition, the high-speed communication bus enables the control system to efficiently handle more axes. Drivers and feedback devices can further hone the motor. Drivers and software will allow some motors to meet a range of applications. "Designers have found that putting all content on a single control platform is the most effective way to design code," said product management company Jim Wiley


Parker MPP (Max Plus Plus) potted bearings can improve heat transfer and increase thermal efficiency, thereby increasing the torque of the motor shaft. Using Hiperface DSL feedback can reduce complexity because there is only one cable connection between the drive and the motor. Feedback from the motor to the driver, as well as the reduction of cables, keep the production line competitive. Feedback can improve performance and resolution, while providing more information. In the past, protocols in this area were proprietary and manufacturer-specific, but open protocols like ENDAT, BISS, and Hiperface are becoming more and more popular because they provide greater flexibility and choice. The advanced platform can increase the data transmission volume and data transmission speed, and is better at separating noise. This makes it possible to reduce the number of cables.

In fact, if communication does not decrease, customers now require a cable. Fewer cables can reduce installation time and cost, while maintaining or even adding functionality. At the center of this trend is the communication protocol. You don’t want to be locked into a single feedback or communication protocol type, so look for a drive manufacturer that offers multiple protocols. This allows designers to choose the protocol they are comfortable with or the protocol most suitable for a particular application.

"Currently, fieldbuses such as CAN open, Profibus, and DeviceNet are used in various applications. However, with the emergence of current and future waves, Ethernet-based communication appears among these different communications," Parker Hannifin’s Wiley Say. "Hardware is cost-effective and everything. It has become a problem of taking up Ethernet hardware and finding a way to meet the real-time requirements required by motion control and servo drive applications."

EtherCAT, Profinet, Ethernet IP and Powerlink are common communication methods from control to drive. They all support high-speed real-time communication.