World’s first three-in-one servo drive

03 May 2009

Parker Hannifin has launched what is believed to be the world’s first servo drive to combine three servo power stages in a single compact unit. Called the TPD-M, the new compact drive has been developed for applications where multiple drives are normally used.

Parker TPD-M
Parker TPD-M

The new TPD-M servo drive is particularly suitable for centralised automation systems, such as those found in many packaging machines, where large numbers of drives are often required. By replacing up to three individual drives with a single TPD-M unit it is therefore possible to save space and weight in control cabinets and to cut component costs, as only one set of drive parts, cables, connectors, filters and braking resistors are required.

The servo drives can be supplied as one, two or three axis versions, the latter offering CANopen and EtherCAT interfaces for simpler and faster system integration. The three axis servo drive offers a CANopen and an EtherCAT interface for simpler and faster system integration. The TPD-M also features integrated “Safe Stop” functionality in accordance with EN954-1 as standard.

The servo drive offers the OEM and end-user five clear advantages over traditional servo drive configurations.


With up to 3 axes in a single housing, there are considerable space and cost savings to be made as a result of the use of smaller control cabinets. Where a considerable number of servo drives are used, as is common in packaging machinery, the potential for saving due to smaller or fewer control cabinets is even greater.


Multiple servo drives in a single housing means a reduction in the associated servo drive system ancillary components. Among these are the common internal electronics, connections and heat sinks. Furthermore, fewer cables are required for connecting devices together. Communication for parameterisation and setup takes place via a central USB interface. Additional savings are made possible by the use of common filters and braking resistors which would normally be provided for each individual axis.


A speed controlled fan ensures continually optimised energy consumption adapted to actual drive temperature requirements. This in turn results in longer fan life and reduced operating noise.

The TPD-M servo drive makes use of intermediate DC circuit coupling for efficient power sharing between the individual axes. This provides the user with the added benefit of using a considerably smaller central braking resistor or, in some cases, to use no braking resistor at all.

Finally, less packaging material is used and transport costs are reduced due to the drive’s exceptional compactness.


The TPD-M servo drive supports simple device replacement and configuration without PC, with the aid of a pluggable SD card that holds all of the operation relevant information.

The flexibility with which the power stage can be configured provides another advantage during the planning stage of a project. The TPD-M servo drive can be adapted to a number of different applications removing the need to select multiple product types, also simplifying stockholding due to a smaller number of hardware versions.


The reduction in cabling and associated components reduces the risk of error during installation or maintenance thereby ensuring maximum machine availability.

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