How Does Motion Control Work?

Industrial motion control is standard in manufacturing, but the industrial machinery that’s commonplace today would have seemed like some sort of wizardry a couple of centuries ago. Simply being accustomed to motion control does not necessarily remove the mysticism, however. If you’re inclined to respond with, “Magic” anytime someone asks how industrial motion control systems work, here’s a little information to help you with the communication process.

Motion control is all about the automated movement of objects. It’s used in everything from remote controlled cars to big industrial robots.

Industrial motion control has four basic parts. You have the control, the drive, the servo motor, and the load that is being moved. Closed-loop motion control systems, such as Indramat systems, rely on a feedback loop. Sensors gather information from the load and send it back to the control which in turn sends signals based on the feedback.


The servo control is often regarded as the brains of the motion control system. Controls can sometimes be as simple as a switch, or they can be as complex computers. Ultimately the control is responsible for sending the motion instructions to the drive.


The servo drive bridges the gap between the controller and the motor. The drive is responsible for taking the low energy signal sent by the control and turning into a high energy signal that the motor can understand. Some drives are capable of doing more than playing middle man, but without the drive translating the information from the control to the servo motor, nothing would get done.


This is where the magic happens. The servo motor in a motion control system takes electrical signals from the drive and converts them into motion. There are many different types of servo motors, but they are all responsible for putting the motion in motion control.


The load is the thing that is actually being moved by the motor. This varies greatly depending on the motion control system, and what it is being used for.


Sensors collect information from the load and send it back the the control. This lets the system know whether everything is working the way that it should and helps ensure that the correct signals are being sent.

Industrial motion control is pretty remarkable, but it’s not sorcery. Repairing a motion control system, on the other hand, may require some powers. We specialize in Indramat motion control systems. Contact us today for any of your Indramat needs!