A Servo Press is a system that uses a linear actuator controlled by an AC or DC servo motor to deliver linear motion, similar to a press cylinder. Servo presses utilize ball or roller screws to offer precise control over speed, position, and force. Though a servo press isn’t necessary for all applications, it can be ideal for some. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at a few advantages and disadvantages of a servo press, and when this type of press might be the best choice for your application.
What is a Servo Press?
A servo motor is typically an AC brushless electric motor that uses either an open-loop or closed-loop motion control system. Open-loop control systems do not incorporate any feedback in operation – these systems simply follow directions from the controller without reading output or sending data back to modify input.
Conversely, a closed-loop system, that’s more commonly used today, is controlled by motor feedback signals that make it possible to make micro adjustments to positioning, speed, and torque automatically as needed. As commands are being sent to the motor, a sensing device called an encoder sends positional, speed, and directional data back to the control system based on output. Torque feedback is also sent back to the control system which helps measure the force exerted by the linear actuator. This allows a servo press to be able to work with great precision, accuracy and control. Servo presses have many advantages as an option for industrial production.
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Advantages of a Servo Electric Press
The positional feedback system within the servo motor press creates a highly accurate operation. The system has the ability to make very fine adjustments to meet the needs of the process. This is ideal for jobs with tight tolerances, or those working with very expensive materials.
Servo presses not only operate with a high level of accuracy, but their operation is steady and repeatable. Even as loads on the motor change, the controls can adjust accordingly to achieve the desired results. If the demands on the press frequently change, a servo electric motor is optimally designed to meet these needs.
The closed loop control system allows the press to operate with a very high degree of control. Though these presses can operate quickly, and with great power, they can also be carefully and precisely adjusted. The actuator’s positional feedback provides an incredible degree of control to the speed and position of the actuator.
Even operating with high accuracy and control, the servo electric press does not sacrifice power. These types of presses can work with delicate materials and highly precise processes as well as very tough materials requiring a great deal of force.
Many high-powered motors are also very loud which require your operators to have hearing protection when in their proximity. A servo motor press is electrically powered, and produces very minimal noise only during the press cycle.
A servo motor press can work very quickly, up to speeds of around 300mm/s. The feedback loop system allows the motor to adjust itself as needed, without interfering with the pressing process. When it’s important to produce components or complete jobs quickly and with great efficiency, a servo motor press may be ideal.
Disadvantages of Servo Motor Presses
Though servo motor presses have many advantages, there are also some disadvantages. It’s important to balance these factors to find the right press for your needs.
As previously discussed, the servo motor operates smoothly, accurately, quickly, and can produce a great deal of power. However, this optimal performance comes at a cost. Servo electric presses tend to come with higher initial costs to most other types of presses, including full hydraulic options.
Servo motors are more expensive generally because they use more complex construction and components. This also means they have more expensive parts and are difficult to maintain. While most presses have a range of issues that can be addressed with in-house maintenance, servo press components will most likely need to be sent back to the factory for repair. Extra components, emergency maintenance and off-site maintenance can be costly and time-consuming.
The high power output offered by servo machinery also comes with high power supply. Most servo press machinery requires either 480 or 240V of electricity, which increases potential safety risks for an operation compared to low or no voltage options like pneumatic presses.
Servo presses can perform a range of applications and can offer advantages for jobs with very tight tolerances, where precision and accuracy are an extremely high priority such as in medical device or aerospace manufacturing. Servo actuators are used outside of assembly to control the function of many products, like robots, drones and other electronics. With such precise operation from a closed-loop feedback system, servo actuators are even used to control the function of several vehicles in operation, like controlling steering motion or the speed of aircraft, submarines and automobiles.
If this level of precision and functionality isn’t essential for your applications, you may be needlessly overspending. It’s helpful to have details about your applications to choose a press, including the materials you’re working with, the dimensions of the workpiece, and the type of operation you’re conducting. This will help you get the right amount of force for your press, and get the right type of press.
Is a Servo Press Right For You?
There are many different types of presses to choose from for your application. Finding the right design and configuration requires some careful consideration and planning. If your process requires a great deal of accuracy, precision, and smooth operation, a servo press might be ideal for you. However, many of these complex processes can also be performed with a force and distance monitoring air over oil press for a fraction of the cost and there may be a range of pneumatic, hydropneumatic and even hydraulic options that could provide the capabilities you need with a higher return on investment.
If you’re looking for a high-quality factory press and you’re not sure about the optimal construction, contact us. Our press experts can help you find a press that is highly functional as well as cost-effective and quote either a servo press or alternative, designed to meet your needs.