Motors and Control

Stepper Motor Drivers Improve Motion Accuracy and Motor Efficiency

Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC) has introduced three new stepping motor drivers that detect excessive load on a motor and automatically adjust power to the motor to accommodate this load.

The new TB67S249FTG, TB67S279FTG, and TB67S289FTG enable motors to move with precision at rapid speeds under various loads – all while minimizing power consumption, heat generation, and system costs.

When motors are loaded beyond their designed driving capability, motor motion accuracy drastically decreases and the motor may be stalled. In general, stepper motor driver solutions avoid this by driving excessive current to ensure an operating margin for worst-case conditions.

The downside of this approach is that it results in inefficient operation, increased heat, reliability issues, and higher system costs. Other solutions require added sensors and microcontrollers to monitor motor torque and to adjust the current to meet the load, but this close-loop approach increases system cost, PCB space, and design complexity.

Toshiba’s new stepper motor drivers are the first to incorporate its proprietary anti-stall and active gain control (AGC) technology. AGC technology constantly monitors motor torque and automatically optimizes motor current to meet load requirements – without the need for an additional microcontroller.

By operating at nominal currents instead of high currents, these devices reduce motor power and heat by up to 80 percent when compared with existing products without the AGC function, while maintaining motor precision and efficiency under a wide variety of workloads and speeds.

(click on image to enlarge)

“Applications such as robotics, precision manufacturing and 3D printing require stable, precise, and high speed control,” said Alan Li, senior business development manager for motor control products at Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. “The low power, anti-stall, and AGC capabilities of these new Toshiba stepper motor controller products lower system costs, improve efficiency, and improve system reliability for these applications.”

Supporting a maximum operating voltage of 50V, the TB67S249FTG drives 4.5A maximum current, while the TB67S289FTG and TB67S279FTG drive 3.0A and 2.0A, respectively. In addition, these motor drivers include Toshiba’s proprietary Advanced Current Detection System (ACDS), which eliminates the need for a large, expensive high-power sense resistor to save PCB space and lower system cost.

In order to decrease noise and vibration, these devices offer step resolutions of full, half, quarter, 1/8, 1/16 and 1/32 steps, enabling fast, precise movements. They also identify a variety of error conditions (thermal, over-current, under-voltage lock out, and motor load open detection) that improve system safety and reliability.

Housed in a thermally-efficient QFN48 (7mm x 7mm) package, all three devices are pin compatible, allowing system manufacturers to design one board to support a variety of performance requirements.

The new stepping motor driver ICs are currently in mass production and available now.

Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc.
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