AC servo motor equipped with location detection technology

13 June 2022

Nidec Corporation has jointly developed an AC servo motor equipped with Zignear, position detection technology that can replace encoders.

An encoder, which is a sensor used to detect the rotation of a brushless DC motor mainly, is essential in adjusting a motor to an intended location and keeping its rotation consistent. Traditionally, a brushless DC motor has required an encoder, as it has been difficult to detect its accurate location due to the ‘inconsistency’ in the magnetic sensor, or the installation of a hall sensor and sensitivity in particular. 

Now, however, after developing an algorithm that corrects such inconsistency, Nidec has successfully improved the location detection accuracy with the use of general-purpose microcomputers.

Despite its high accuracy and ability to operate in a strong magnetic field, an optical encoder tends to become larger in proportion to its accuracy, requiring precise positioning. Meanwhile, a magnetic encoder is able to operate even in a dusty environment, and is cost-competitive as it works with a relatively inexpensive IC chip, but the encoder’s accuracy is lower than that of an optical counterpart. 

Nidec’s Zignear, which requires as small a number of components, uses software to maintain location detection and tracking capabilities that are equal to those of an optical encoder.

Going forward, in the fields of industrial robot and mobility system that are becoming increasingly innovative and diverse, Zignear-equipped AC servo motors will contribute to meeting the needs for high-level accuracy, diverse forms of communication, and replacing conventional products.

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