Servo Motors vs. Stepper Motors for CNC Powering

Servo Motors vs. Stepper Motors for CNC Powering

You wouldn’t put the same kind of engine in a racecar that you would in a minivan. A racecar needs to travel at speeds of 200 miles an hour, while a minivan needs to be able to move reliably for thousands of miles. They’re two machines built for different purposes, so of course, their power sources are different.

The same is true of your CNC machining equipment. Depending on the needs of your company, you will want a different power source moving your machines. The question is which you will choose. Understanding the difference between servo motors vs. stepper motors for CNC powering will help you make this choice.

Stepper Motors

Stepper motors work on an open-loop system powered by a permanent magnet surrounded by a series of wire coils. As the controller sends messages to the drive, the drive sends a series of electrical pulses into the wires. This creates an electromagnetic field that moves the motor in small increments for highly precise movements.

Benefits of Stepper Motors for CNC

Less Expensive

One of the primary advantages of stepper motors is their simplicity. Steppers do not come with feedback encoders or resolvers as a standard. Removing this step reduces the cost significantly, along with making them relatively simple to operate.

High Torque, Low Speed

The nature of stepper motors gives them a high amount of torque, especially at lower speeds. This torque is greater than servo motors of the same size. The one caveat is that the torque diminishes as the speed increases, but this is still valuable for smaller-scale operations.

Servo Motors

Servo motors operate on a closed-loop system. A controller sends a message to a drive that goes to a high-powered motor. The difference is that the motor does not operate based on magnets. Additionally, it comes equipped with an encoder that sends feedback back to the drive and controller.

Benefits of Servo Motors for CNC

High Accuracy

The encoder offers an edge in the servo vs. stepper motor or CNC powering debate. As the encoder sends feedback to the rest of the system, the motor automatically adjusts itself. This provides even greater accuracy than stepper motors, though at a higher cost.

Less Heat

Because the stepper motor’s design is based on electromagnets, it is constantly drawing electricity, even when turned off. This uses more energy and causes the machine to produce more heat, which could impact a business’s operations. Servos only use electricity when in use, allowing for a cooler system.

Making the Choice for Your Company

Both servo and stepper motors will provide your CNC equipment with the power source needed for precision in their operations. Stepper motors tend to work best in smaller businesses that don’t need to work at higher speeds. But if you need to produce a high number of products quickly, servo motors may be a better choice.

Whether you’re looking for CNC servo motors or stepper motors, Industrial Automatons has the parts you need to keep your CNC machines powered.