Electric motors are the backbone of modern automation. Motors convert electrical energy into mechanical energy, and the resulting motion and torque drives a load.
Motors come in all shapes and sizes and are found in a diverse range of applications like industrial fans, blowers, pumps, machine tools, household appliances, power tools, disk drives, conveyors, heavy machinery, robotics, and, more recently, motor vehicles.
The demand for better energy efficiency and more precision in motor applications led to the development of several motor control accessories. Devices like encoders, resolvers and tachometers are used to measure the position and speed of a motor shaft, and various braking solutions have been introduced to motor systems to fine tune the output of a motor.
The most effective motor control solution is the variable frequency drive, or adjustable speed drive. Drives vary motor input frequency and voltage to control motor speed and torque. Better technology has reduced the cost and size of the average VFD, and introduced several features that dramatically increase motor performance like automated motor protection, dynamic braking, application programming, soft starting, and industrial network compatibility.