Motion control applications are built to serve a variety of industrial applications, which means that they must be able to stand up to varying conditions.
While most people visualize servo drives being used for robotics and CNC machining tools, servo drives are also applied in many extreme military, communication, and underwater applications. Many off-the-shelf products you’ll find across the industry are not designed for these harsh conditions.
This is why ADVANCED Motion Controls started developing the Extended Environment servo drives for extreme operating conditions in 2008. Check out our press release here. AMC developed its Extended Environment and modified servo drive series with advanced shock and vibration technologies, as well as the ability to withstand harsh temperature and pressure differentials.
Our Extended Environment servo drives encompass a significant part of our selection of off-the-shelf products and can also be custom designed to suit your specific application. At AMC, we offer off-the-shelf Extended Environment servo drives in both digital and analog architecture, retaining the same compact form factor and easy plug-in capabilities as our other PCB mount servo drives.
You’ll be able to distinguish these products from our standard drives by physical features such as bright orange capacitors or copper pins, but most easily by the “X” identifier listed in the product name. In addition to our Extended Environment line, we also offer custom and modified servo drives that can be outfitted for your extreme environment application.
Still uncertain of whether you need an Extended Environment servo drive? Here are just four reasons you might.
1. Managing High Temperature Extremes
AT ADVANCED Motion Controls we’ve designed our products to handle a wide range of temperatures using creative hardware design and heat transfer technology.
To begin with, our off-the-shelf products come with built-in heat sinks and control conditions designed to increase the reliability of our products under high temperature extremes.
Just take a look at the statistics behind some of our Extended Environment servo drives:
- DZX series can operate from -40°C to +75°C, shutting down at +85°C
- AZX series can operate from -40°C to +85°C, shutting down at +105°C
- Custom drives have been made to operate at as low as -50°C and as high as +112°C
These advancements aren’t just for the drive’s benefit; custom Extended Environment servo drives can also include a thermal management system designed to become part of the whole system’s cooling scheme. In the frigid tundra or scorching desert, our Extended Environment drives will get the job done.
2. Handling Depth and Altitude
Businesses need servo drives and controls able to withstand electrolyte evaporation or outgassing issues at low pressure altitudes, as well as the sheer crushing force of high pressure submersible applications.
AMC has designed servo drives for a variety of extreme-pressure applications. For example, our drives are controlling the pan and tilt functions on cameras for underwater submersibles that are able to withstand 8500+ psi of depths as low as 6,000 meters.
Conversely, we have custom products that have been on applications from 50,000 feet up to low earth orbit. One of our modified DZXRALTE-015L080 drives is designed to operate in hard vacuum conditions of approximately 10 nPa.
We’ve even developed non-malleable casings able to withstand high pressures and protect vulnerable mechanical components. Whether it’s moving remote antennas in space or operating under high pressure extremes, our Extended Environment servo drives provide stability in the harshest of environments.
3. Avoiding Contamination
Along the same lines, servo drives must be able to withstand contamination from water, dust, and other contaminants that can compromise circuitry and functionality. Even a thin layer of dust may be enough to create a short circuit between components if there is no protection.
For this reason, custom Extended Environment servo drives can be designed with high ingress protection ratings for drive housings. In addition, we offer off-the-shelf vehicle mount drives that come standard with a tight seal to protect against dust and water.
Another method of protection is to spray a conformal coating on the PCB surface to prevent humidity, dust, and other minor contaminants from interfering with the drive functionality. This is included on all of our Extended Environment drives and is an option available for all custom and modified products. All ADVANCED Motion Controls drives will be unaffected by non-condensing humidity up to 95%.
As a final note, our products are also EMC and EMI certified to protect against interference for electrically sensitive applications.
4. Enduring Shock and Vibrations
Finally, servo drives and most mechanical components are very vulnerable to intense shocks and vibrations. With experience designing servo components for the Department of Defense, we’ve developed our Extended Environment drives to withstand shocks of up to 15g's at 11 msec, 1/2 sine, and vibrations of up to 30g's (rms) on all three axes.
Custom drives can even come with special glues and cements to better hold down components that might be shaken loose. We also substitute low profile part variations for large components like capacitors to minimize the effects of shocks or vibrations.
With these additions, your motion control application will be able to withstand destruction from intense shock and vibrations that normal servo drives just can’t.
In summary, our Extended Environment servo drives are designed to offer reliability, stability, and consistent performance in the harshest of circumstances. Contact us today to learn more.