Digital Servos vs Analog Servos: Which Option Is Better?

Are Digital Servos Better Than Analog Servos?

Servomechanism, servomotor, or “servo” for short is a simple mechanism technique used to add movement to any kind of electronic project. In a more basic term, it is a control system. It can be powered up by either analog or digital servo drives.

What is a servo drive?

Servomechanisms work with the help of a special electronic amplifier called servo drive. Servo drives help control the motor’s torque, velocity, and position. To make the servomechanism work, the process starts with the control system sending a command signal to the servo drive. The servo drive then amplifies the signal and conveys the electric current to the servo drive motor. As a result, the servomechanism produces the motion required by the command signal. The command signal may be a desired velocity, torque, or position.

What servo drive can be used for?

Analog and digital servo drives can be used in different applications. They continuously help companies in various industries. Here are some of the common uses of servo drives.

Space industry

Scientists face difficult engineering challenges when manufacturing aerospace equipment. Because of this, the application of servo drives in the space industry is common. With the help of servo drives, space machinery operates effectively, even outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. Servo drives ensure that the motion control of these aerospace systems will be responsive and reliable. Servo motors are also used in the hydraulic systems of aerospace equipment to accommodate system hydraulic fluid.

Robotics

One of the industries that benefit most with the servo drive application is robotics. Some types of servos are built to sustain constant rotation motion, making it easier for robots to keep moving. Laboratory robots use servo drives to ensure actuate joint movements. This gives a precise angle in the robot’s arm. Servos also control the robotic vehicles used in military applications and bomb detonations.

Industrial area

A lot of industries use digital servo motor and drive because they offer great control and efficiency features. For one, CNC machines rely on servo drives to ensure automatic and precise control of the tool spindle, work table, and other elements. Thanks to servo drives, the textile manufacturing industry bring more synchronization, fast changeover, and reliability on their processes. Servo drives are also a big help in a printing press. When installed, they make the printing operation produce higher automation, tighter registration, and have a quicker response to error correction.

Medical equipment

Medical devices are expected to deliver precise control and performance. Servo drives help in meeting these requirements. Lives are at risk, so servo drives make sure that the medical equipment will maintain operation without downtime. Servo drives can be found in contrast injection, portable artificial heart, patient handling table, patient breathing ventilation, and bone saws. They are also applied in tilting beds to ensure the safe and smooth transitions of medical patients.

RC hobby

Servo drives also contribute to the operations of different radio control (RC) models. From cars and trucks to boats and helicopters, either an analog or digital servo drive can help remotely operate these units. Radio-controlled airplanes, for example, use servos to position control surfaces such as rudders and elevators.

The Analog Servo

A standard type of servomotor is the analog servo. The speed of the motor is regulated through on and off voltage signals or pulses. Note that the normal pulse voltage range is between 4.8 to 6.0 volts and it remains constant. Analog servos receive 50 pulses for every second and receive no voltage when at rest. When reacting to small commands, there is a tendency that the analog servo may lag. It may also have challenges in getting the motor spinning at the right pace. Also, a sluggish torque is formed in analog servos, which is known as “deadband”. If you plan to use analog servos, make sure to get those that are high in specifications as they provide better performance.

The Digital Servo

A digital servo works faster and can send pulse signals of up to 300 pulses per second. The rapid pulse signals enhance the speed of the motor significantly and make the torque more constant. Furthermore, digital servos minimize the amount of the deadband. Using digital servo provides smooth movement and improved control. A digital servo motor price can be more expensive than that of an analog because of its high-quality performance with higher speed consumption. In addition, since they carry higher power consumption, you will need a larger capacity of battery packs should you choose digital servos.

Servo Analog vs Digital Demonstration

 

Our conclusion

While both servo systems deliver excellent results, there’s no doubt that digital servos are the better option. This is because of the faster and smoother results the digital servos produce. Moreover, they are made to cater to the demands of the deadband and peak voltages. Our verdict is that digital servos are more efficient than the analog ones.

Still have confusion about digital servo drives, motors, and other terms? Keep on reading and learning from our blogs. Rest assured that we will continue to create knowledgeable articles that you can use as your source for your papers or just general added information!

Tom Parillo

Tom Parillo

I am interested in all things technology, especially automation, robotics and tech that helps change how society will live in the future.
Tom Parillo

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