Designed to tackle taxing motion tasks in cramped quarters, the new Super Torque stepper motor packs high torque within a space-saving footprint.
The Super Torque stepper motor provides approximately two to three times more torque than a similarly designed standard motor, according to Lin Engineering Inc. (http://www.linengineering.com), which recently introduced the product. A NEMA 17 size unit, the Super Torque is available in lengths of 1.34, 1.57, and 1.89 inches. Depending on its length, the motor offers holding torque capacities ranging from 30 to 83 ounce-inches.
To boost torque, Lin Engineering changed the angle of the motor's rotor and stator teeth. The company also added steel to the stator, which lengthened the central section of the motor. To compensate for this added length, the company trimmed the size of the two end bells that hold the motor together, notes Ryan Lin, the firm's director of sales and marketing.
According to Lin, the Super Torque can help engineers trying to shrink equipment size. Consider surveillance systems that use motors to rotate and tilt cameras. Designers are slashing the size of these systems, he notes, though the amount of camera weight to be moved remains the same. In this case, he says, the Super Torque lets designers pack the same amount of camera-moving torque into a smaller surveillance mechanism.
The Super Torque stepper motor can also rescue space-constrained designs that don't allocate enough room for certain motors. In situation like this, engineers "could redesign the entire package to allow for a larger motor," Lin says. "Or they could just drop our motor in."
Despite its advantages, the Super Torque won't be the choice for every high-torque application. For one thing, the motor's 1.8-degree step size may not meet the needs of designers seeking high position accuracy.
In addition, the motor has competition in its category. Several companies — including Pacific Scientific Corp., Shinano Kenshi Corp., and Oriental Motor USA Corp. — sell compact stepper motors that offer relatively high torque levels, according to Muhammad Mubeen, senior research associate for Motion Tech Trends, a network of motion control consultants headquartered in Inglewood, CA. Such motors require special features (such as small, powerful magnets) that make them more expensive than their larger counterparts, says Mubeen, a former vice president of the step motor group at Kollmorgen Corp.
But Lin says his company sells the Super Torque at prices comparable to those of larger motors offering similar torque levels. This may be possible due to cost-reducing factors such as offshore manufacturing, according to Mubeen.