A servomotor consumes power as it rotates to the commanded position but then the servomotor rests. continue to consume power to lock in and hold the commanded position.
Servomotors are generally used as a high-performance alternative to the stepper motor. Stepper motors have some inherent ability to control position, as they have built-in output steps. This often allows them to be used as an open-loop position control, without any feedback encoder, as their drive signal specifies the number of steps of movement to rotate, but for this the controller needs to 'know' the position of the stepper motor on power up. Therefore, on first power up, the controller will have to activate the stepper motor and turn it to a known position, e.g. until it activates an end limit switch. This can be observed when switching on an; the controller will move the ink jet carrier to the extreme left and right to establish the end positions. A servomotor will immediately turn to whatever angle the controller instructs it to, regardless of the initial position at power up.
The lack of feedback of a stepper motor limits its performance, as the stepper motor can only drive a load that is well within its capacity, otherwise missed steps under load may lead to positioning errors and the system may have to be restarted or recalibrated. The encoder and controller of a servomotor are an additional cost, but they optimise the performance of the overall system (for all of speed, power and accuracy) relative to the capacity of the basic motor. With larger systems, where a powerful motor represents an increasing proportion of the system cost, servomotors have the advantage.
There has been increasing popularity in closed loop in recent years. They act like servomotors but have some differences in their software control to get smooth motion. The top 3 manufacturers of closed loop stepper motor systems employ magnetic encoders as their feedback device of choice due to low cost and resistance to vibration. The main benefit of a closed loop stepper motor is the cost to performance ratio. There is also no need to tune the PID controller on a closed loop stepper system.
Many applications, such as laser cutting machines, may be offered in two ranges, the low-priced range using stepper motors and the high-performance range using servomotors
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