What’s a Servo Motor?

What is a servo motor? It can be difficult to define even if you’ve worked with Indramat servo motors for decades. It’s surprisingly difficult to break some things down beyond the words we use to represent them.

Have you ever tried to define a word that you use all the time, and find that you just can’t do it?

Define the word “so” — what does it mean?

Even though you use the word “so” everyday, and you understand what other people are communicating when they use it, you may not be able to offer a good definition of the word.

Similarly, you may work with Indramat servo motors everyday, but you might not be able to give an explanation to a curious stranger who asks you, “What’s a servo motor any way?”.

It’s… well… a servo motor is a servo motor!

What’s a servo motor?

While servo motors are relatively simple in concept, someone unfamiliar with machinery will hear you speaking in some mysterious, forgotten dialect if you use language that’s too technical.

Keep in mind that “too technical” is a highly subjective term; most people who work in a specialized field don’t always realize just how specialized their jargon is.

Someone unfamiliar with football won’t necessarily know what a touchline is, and someone unfamiliar with servos won’t know what an actuator or commutator is.

Here’s a simple, if not oversimplified, definition of a servo motor:

A servo motor is a mechanical device that enables movement and controls torque, speed, and position in machinery.

In a nutshell, servo motors are the heartbeat of precise and responsive control systems for machines with lots of moving parts. They are in constant communication with the machine that they are working with via a closed-loop feedback system. Servos are ideal for applications in robotics, packaging, automation, and machine tools.

How do servos work?

The key characteristic of servo motors is that they operate on closed-loop feedback. Basically, a servo motor is in constant communication with the machine, and it the motor adjusts based on the information provided in the feedback loop.

Industrial servo motors — such as Indramat servos — offer a high level of precision, and they can perform more complex motion patterns than other types of motors.

Servo motors are made up of three basic components: an electric motor, a feedback device, and a controller. The motors can be either AC or DC, and in brushed or brushless options. The nice thing about brushless motors is that they require very little maintenance. However, brushless servos are more expensive than the brushed motors that require regular maintenance.

We offer Indramat servo repair, maintenance, and replacement

If you need support for your Indramat servos, call 479-422-0390. We specialize in legacy Indramat servos motors, controls, and drives.

We have the nation’s largest supply of emergency replacement units for Indramat systems, and we offer Indramat factory repair and REMAN services.