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Choosing the right drive strategy for stepper motor applications

Author : Clémence Muron, Portescap

02 June 2021

Stepper motors are popular choices for many motorised systems – in particular, because they are easy to drive. But having knowledge of the various stepper motor technologies and the ways they can be controlled can be a significant advantage. 

With an understanding of bipolar and unipolar driving methods, designers will be in a better position to implement a truly optimised solution.

Clémence Muron, Application Engineer at Portescap, discusses the differences between bipolar drives and unipolar drives for stepper motors, and examines their advantages and limitations in specific applications.

For motor-driven applications that require precise and predictable positioning in a compact, cost-effective package, stepper motors have been a popular choice since their introduction in the 1960s. In recent years, advances both in the motors themselves and in the drive electronics have given steppers decisive performance advantages in demanding applications – from machine tools to medical equipment.

The simplicity of the drive technology for modern steppers is one of the keys to their enduring popularity, but even so, there are design decisions that need to be made in the control concept which can have a huge bearing on the success of the application. In particular, should the designer opt for unipolar control or bipolar control of the motors

Read the full article in the June issue of DPA

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