The majority of industrial automation processes require AC servomotors to be used as high-torque robotic joints. However, it is not wise to use one just for the sake of having it. The question is, when will it be reasonable to apply servo joint for your project?
To help you decide, we have answered a series of questions that should clarify your considerations:
1. Does the process need to be automated?
Your processes need to be automated when it is more beneficial to produce without human intervention. If the manual process is unsafe, or you need to have consistent precision, or you need production to run 24/7. You should consider automation if the following processes are similar to yours:
-You need to access enclosed spaces that are hard to reach.
-You need to dispense a consistent adhesive on odd and multiple surfaces.
-You are using a motion tracking equipment.
-The process involves positioning small and complex objects.
-The process is hazardous, like welding, soldering, and machining and requires accuracy.
2. What type of robot does the process require?
It is awesome to have a multi-axis robot at your shop. However, the six-axis robot moving along a straight line can be not a wise investment of resources. You should not use linear actuators for curved motions. If your robot will operate on multiple surfaces, you need several rotary actuators or drives. Robotic joints are specifically made for that purpose. The function is similar to your elbows, wrists, and fingers.
3. What type of motor should I use?
To trim your options, you need to be familiar with robotic joints. Automatic and precise control of both speed and position is a main feature of AC servos. Also, AC servo is reliable long-term solution because of its low maintenance needs. There are AC servo robotic joints with pre-installed harmonic drives that have increased a precision hundredfold. Its small size and weight make it favorable to use it as a robot joint.
4. When should I replace the robotic joints with AC servos?
Your business will always need to be updated with technology. Your robot can be still as good as new after decades passed. However, if the accuracy of the robot cannot produce a quality that complies with modern standards, you need to replace the motors. The low-resolution stepper motors inside your robotic arm may not keep up. The motor on the fixed end of your robot needs the highest precision and torque. The motors near the end effector need to be lightweight and speed stability. AC servomotor robotic joint is the best suitable for them.
5. When should I redesign or replace my robot to utilize the features of AC servomotor robotic joints? There are restrictions on redesigning your robot because servos have a designed maximum load. Be aware when increasing the load of the motors, such as picking heavier objects. Also, if its arms need to be longer to access a wider range, you should consider the increase in the moment and torque. If precision needs to increase, the motors on the shoulders to the end effector will need to be replaced if it is still cost-effective. Be also aware of the slots of your existing robot. Check if the slots can accommodate your new AC servomotor.
6. Who should use AC servomotor robotic joints?
Control complexity and higher price may hinder you from using an AC servo in a hobby project. Robotic joints are suitable in the first line for industrial automation use.
Companies benefit from using robotic actuators as this is a reliable, high efficient and easy integrable technology.
To sum up
Using a hand that can move responsively, precisely, and steadily even in extreme conditions is feasible for strategic manufacturing processes. Investing in AC servomotor robotic joints as spare parts of a robotic hand will be profitable to fulfill that purpose.