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Conveyor 101: What is servo technology?

August 28, 2012

Servo Motor of ConveyorIn the product and material handling equipment industry, servo technology provides highly accurate position and speed control.  Although servo controls can be used to describe any closed loop feedback controller, ranging from a hydraulic flow control valve to your cars' cruise control system,  servos in the material handling equipment industry typically use a low inertia electric motor as the means of creating a mechanical force. 

The low inertia motor allows for fast acceleration and deceleration.  Servos operate on a negative feedback where the control input is compared to the actual position of the mechanical system and as measured by a transducer at the output. Any difference between the actual and wanted values is used to drive the system in the direction to reduce or eliminate the error. The procedure is managed by the control logic.

What are best practices for servo technology on packaging lines?

  • In high-performance packaging lines that require maximum packaging line efficiencies.

  • For precise product position control when feeding packaging equipment or special devices. 

  • Packaging equipment such as case packers utilize servo technology for quick changeover and to electronically gear equipment when product changes require multiple gear ratios on the equipment.

  • For higher speeds and control of devices such as metering belts, timing screws, laner gates, configurable merge systems, precision part indexers and pushers.

  • For overall increased automation from added functionality such as automatic guide rail systems.

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