Drive technology is a basic building block for the performance of machines, robots, and hand-held devices. However, there is much more to consider than just the design and the motor selection. Interdisciplinary thinking, specific engineering knowledge, depth of experience, and a clear understanding of the requirements are critical factors.
Any kind of technological progress should focus on the application. At some point, improved performance characteristics or new technologies have to yield results in the form of better quality and/or reduced cost. With regard to drive technology for machines and hand-held devices, this means:
- Better dynamics improve the production output.
- Faster drive control improves precision and product quality.
- A more efficient drive system improves the energy efficiency of the overall system.
- In order to achieve these goals, drive systems must be selected in the overall context of the application and its requirements.
The big picture
The first step in the specification and optimization of a drive system is to understand and correctly prioritize the technical and commercial requirements of the final system, which can be a machine, a robot, or a hand-held device. It’s easy to miss the bigger picture and focus unilaterally on the considerations relevant for one’s own field of expertise. As a rule, the drive selection happens in engineering. However, the performance, the cost, and the limitations of a drive solution are influenced by a multitude of factors as well as other system components. It is therefore critical to harness the know-how of experts from different fields during the idea and conceptualization phase.