Custom Servo Drives & Accessories

ADVANCED Motion Controls has a broad servo drive offering and the ability to sell products in a modified form, but some motion control applications need something much different from the off-the-shelf models we offer. Thankfully, ADVANCED Motion Controls has the capability to promptly develop and deliver specified products for OEMs with volume requests.

One of the things that sets us apart from our competitors is our willingness to make custom servo drives and other products. We’ve been making custom servo amplifiers nearly since the beginning. Today, custom products make up about one third of our business. While developing a custom servo drive for a customer, we work closely with them to give them a servo solution that does everything they need. This can include creating drives that have different connectors, shape, number of axes, and other features than our usual product offering.

Custom servo drives

Custom Servo Solution Options

It can start with a crazy idea, feature creep or near impossible specifications, but sometimes you just have to start over from scratch. Starting with a fresh design affords endless possibilities allowing the designer to expand capabilities beyond servo drive functions including full integration of peripheral components.

Rectangular servo drive made into custom round servo drive
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custom round servo drive

Non-Conventional Shape

Rather than try to fit a square peg into a round hole, why not find the peg that fits? Some motion control applications can be very limited on space for electronics, which means there might not be room for a standard servo drive. This is where a custom servo drive can be essential. We have delivered all shapes of custom drives including round ones that were integrated onto the backs of motors.

It's not always a matter of changing a rectangle into a circle; Maybe you just need to reduce the width and can sacrifice a little length, or reduce the footprint and sacrifice height.

2 servo drives instead of custom
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Custom two axis servo drive

Multiple Axes

Individual servo drives are typically used to drive one motor and one motor only. However, many applications have multiple motors working together. Rather than using multiple servo drives, you can get a custom multi-axis servo drive that can control more than one motor at once.

Multi-axis designs are smaller than the sum of their parts because they reduce redundant functions and components and take advantage of board layout.

servo drives and controls
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custom integrated servo drives and controls

Integrated Drives and Controls

We pride ourselves on manufacturing servo drives and controls, but how about both at once? Instead of using wires and cables  to connect servo drives to a controller, drives and controls can be put together and packaged as a single unit.

Integrated solutions greatly simplify supply management, reduce assembly time, save space, and increase reliability. In addition, like a multi-axis servo drive, this can consolidate control of multiple servo axes to a single unit.

custom servo drive communication network options

Specialized Network Options

At present, ADVANCED Motion Controls already has standard products available that support EtherCAT, CANopen, Ethernet TCP, Ethernet POWERLINK, Modbus RTU/TCP, RS-485/232, and soon Ethernet/IP. Any of these networks can be applied to a custom product. However, we have the technology and experience to create custom drives for more networks such as Profinet RT, Profinet IRT, Profibus, and SERCOS III. These customs can even pave the way for expanding our standard network offering.

damaged servo drive
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custom high pressure servo drive

Environmental Considerations

While we have an Extended Environment drive line, sometimes you need something special. All of our extended environment features and modifications can be applied to custom products, sometimes to an even greater extent. For example, we've made custom servo drives that can operate safely in ambient temperatures higher than 100°C and at crushing depths 6000 m below the surface of the ocean. These exceed the capabilities of our standard extended environment products.

custom servo drive built into device frame

Unique Capabilities

You need a drive with more power than our standard offering? Custom. You need a drive with more I/O ports than usual? Custom. You need a drive with special safety features? Custom. You need a drive that shares it's frame with the device? Custom. Want a magnetic encoder or other contactless feedback? Custom.

If you can imagine it, we can probably make it. At ADVANCED Motion Controls, we believe that everything is possible.

Examples

We don't just talk the talk, we walk the walk. We've manufactured hundreds of custom servo drive models over the years. Here we have just a small handful of them for you to check out.

custom two axis servo drive

Two-Axis Servo Drive

Two of these drives were used to simultaneously control treads and elbow joints in a military remotely operated vehicle. Each drive was built to control one elbow joint and one tread, rather than having one two-axis drive for the treads and one two-axis drive for the two elbow joints. This way, the number of unique parts was reduced, making replacements easy.

  • No switches or potentiometers
  • Duty cycle mode operation
  • Axis #1: 30A peak, 24A continuous
  • Axis #2: 30A peak, 20A continuous
  • Custom operating voltage
  • Specified peak current duration
  • Specified I/O connectors
  • Specified motor and main power connectors
  • Conformal coating
  • Baseplate integrated as control box cover
custom two axis servo drive

Two Axis Servo Drive

  • Baseplate shaped to match custom mount
  • Dynamic braking relays hold motors while machine is shut down
  • Specified connectors
  • Built in inductance for motor compatibility
  • Additional bus capacitance per customer spec
  • +/-3V command range
  • Special access to tuning values
  • Built within size restrictions
  • RTV applied to components for shock/vibration
  • Conformal coating
  • Custom label
  • Delivered less than 2 months after receipt of specification
custom high current servo drive

High Current Output Drive

  • 70A peak current (duration 150ms)
  • 7A continuous current
  • 80kHz switching frequency
  • Custom voltage range
  • PWM & Direction command
  • Duty cycle mode
  • Specified connectors
  • Baseplate an integral component in airflow system
custom high performance servo drive

Ultra High Performance Drive

  • 5kHz Bandwidth
  • Maximized phase margin for system stability
  • No switches or potentiometers
  • 3U rack-mount
custom extended environment servo drive

Extreme Environemnt Drive

This drive controlled the grasping claw in a military remotely operated vehicle.

  • MIL spec connector maintains an IP67 seal between the inside and outside while allowing communication and power to the drive
  • Expanded temperature range
  • Conformal coating
  • USB interface for communication and command over the customer's existing communication hardware
  • High powered DC/DC converter specified by the customer

Is a Custom Worth it?

Is it always worth it to seek out a custom solution, especially if there's a way to make a standard product work? All customs are different, so we have to treat each case individually. However, we can still provide some general guidance.

For customs where there is increased complexity it’s best to add up the cost of the individual components for comparison. A multi-axis solution for example can be a combination of two drives and a mounting card. If you added up the price of the individual components it is very likely that the custom 2-axis drive would cost less (Even including engineering costs and NRE).

custom servo drive collectionEven in cases where there is very low volume, you can still come out ahead if you consider the cost of alternative solutions. For example, how much does it really cost to design your own servo drive? We’ve seen customers struggle for years trying to design their own solution and end up with unsatisfactory results and poor reliability. But when given the chance to step in, we have proven ourselves time and again by delivering excellent solutions in just a few weeks or months making our customers very happy.

How do We Make it Happen?

So how is it that we can deliver the best solutions so quickly? The simple answer is – it’s just who we are. Our skill-set for designing servo drives is practiced and honed in daily, and it shows in our time-to-delivery, quality, performance and pricing. We truly do believe everything is possible at ADVANCED Motion Controls, and our custom products make that true.

If you believe a custom product could be the answer for your motion control solution, please Contact Us and we’ll lend our expertise.

custom servo drive design process

Our Strengths

  • On-site engineering and manufacturing
  • Close cooperation between our engineering and applications departments and the customer
  • Built on the same equipment and by the same people as standard products

A custom design has many advantages when it comes to cost and lead times

  • Tailored to meet the exact form, fit, and function requirements
  • Cost savings due to reduction of components or features not needed for the specific system
  • ADVANCED Motion Controls' experience and in-house facilities will produce reliable custom solutions faster than any other suppliers on the market

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