Frequently Asked Questions

Control Techniques, drives specialists since 1973

Frequently Asked Questions

Drives and Motors
Motion Control

Q: What are Electric Drives?

In the Industrial and Commercial sectors, electric drives are devices that are connected to fixed electrical supply systems and provide variable electric power supplies for electric motor control.

Different electric drives are available to control different electric motor types such as DC motors, AC induction motors and AC permanent motors. Some electric drives can be applied to more than one type of motor.

Q: What are VFD Packaged Solutions?

Packaged drive solutions are electric drives mounted in industrial enclosures and are typically high power and available with a range of power and control accessories including HMIs, line reactors, fuse protection and cooling systems.

These large packaged AC drives are typically pre-engineered and configurable and provide robust and reliable solutions for motor control applications.

Q: What is a VFD?

A:  A variable frequency drive or VFD is an electronic controller used to vary the frequency applied to an AC motor in order to control the motor speed. Other names for such devices include variable speed drive or VSD, adjustable speed drive or ASD and inverter.

VFDs are commonly used in automation systems and for machine control and productivity and in building automation systems for energy savings.

Q: What is an AC Drive?

An AC Drive is a device that is used to control the speed of an AC motor. AC drives range from variable frequency drives for basic speed control to closed loop vector drives for precision speed and torque control.

AC drives are available with a wide range of control, feedback and networking options. Working with a trusted drive specialist is the best way to select the optimum drive for your application.

Q: What is Motor Control?

Motor control refers to devices that are used to control the torque, speed or position of an electric motor. Examples of electronic motor controls are soft starters that limit the electrical and mechanical shock applied to a system when an AC motor is started and VFDs and servo drives that control motor speed and position across the working design range of the motor.

It is important that the motor and motor controls are matched for long term reliable operation.

Q: What is a DC Drive?

A:  A DC drive is an electronic controller used to vary the voltage and current applied to a DC motor in order to control the motor speed and torque. Other names for such devices include variable speed drive or VSD, adjustable speed drive or ASD.

DC Drives are not commonly used in modern automation systems today but can be found in older machines.

Q: What is a motion controller?

The term motion control is commonly used to describe machinery where the position of the machine parts are controlled. Motion controllers can be in the form of standalone electronic hardware devices or embedded in PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers), PCs or drives.

Servo drives and motors are most commonly used in these applications but AC drives and motors can also be used depending on the machine type.

Q: What is a servo drive?

A: A servo drive is an electronic controller used to precisely control the torque, speed and position of a servo motor or actuator in motion control applications. The term servo amplifiers is also used. Most servo drive systems include motor feedback devices that the servo drive uses to continuously vary its output to meet the machine demands.

Q: What is a servo motor?

A servo motor is a type of permanent magnet motor used most commonly in motion control positioning applications. Compared to standard AC induction motors servo motors are typically smaller and lighter and can be controlled for highly dynamic and high precision applications. Most servo motors are supplied with a feedback device for closed loop speed and position control systems.

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