Faculty of Engineering Communications and Electronics Depart.

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Republic of Yemen Sana’a University

ADVISOR\ Eng. Mojeeb Al-Hazmi OR\ Al-Ha azmi A OR
WORK TEAM
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YEAR 2008-2009

First Semester 2008-2009

Stepper Motor Systems

Sana’a University Faculty of Engineering
Electrical Engineering Depart.
Communications and Electronics Division

2008-2009

TEAM TEL.: 967+777493634 Email: mohriky@gmail.com Web Site: www.englab-elec.com

All rights reserved.

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Stepper Motor Systems

CONTENTS
I. II. Abstract Introduction

1. STEPPING MOTOR SYSTEMS OVERVIEW 2. STEPPER MOTOR IN MOTION 2.1. States Of A Stepper Motor At Motion 2.2. Step Angle ( $s ) 3. TYPES OF STEPPER MOTORS 3.1. Variable Reluctance Stepper 3.2. Permanent Magnet Stepper 3.2.1. Step Sequencing 3.2.1.1. Wave Drive 3.2.1.2. Full Step Drive 3.2.1.3. Half Step Drive 3.2.2. Construction of a permanent magnet stepper motor 3.3. Hybrid Stepper Motor 3.3.1. Features Of Hybrid Stepper Schematic 3.3.2. Hybrid Stepper Motor Rotation 4. TYPES OF STEPPER MOTORS IN SUMMARY 5. DESIGN SPECIFICATION AND DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS 5.1. Design Specification 5.2. Design Considerations 5.2.1. Inductance 5.2.2. Series, Parallel Connection 5.2.3. Driver Voltage 5.2.4. Motor Stiffness 5.2.5. Motor Heat 6. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF STEPPER MOTORS 6.1. ADVANTAGES OF STEPPER MOTORS 6.2. DISADVANTAGES OF STEPPER MOTORS 7. DRIVER TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW 8. INDEXER OVERVIEW 9. STEPPER MOTOR CONTROL REQUIREMENTS 10. APPLICATIONS OF STEPPER MOTOR IN DIFFERENT PRACTICAL FIELDS 11. DESIGN OPPORTUNITIES 12. OUR MAIN REFERENCES AND SOURCES Sana’a University

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Stepper Motor Systems

I.

Abstract

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Stepper Motor Systems

II.

Introduction

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Stepper Motor Systems

1. STEPPING MOTOR SYSTEMS OVERVIEW
Motion Control, in electronic terms, means to accurately control the movement of an object based on either speed, distance, load, inertia or a combination of all these factors. There are numerous types of motion control systems, including; Stepper Motor, Linear Step Motor, DC Brush, Brushless, Servo, Brushless Servo and more. This document will concentrate on Step Motor technology. In Theory, a Stepper motor is a marvel in simplicity. It has no brushes, or contacts. Basically it's a synchronous motor with the magnetic field electronically switched to rotate the armature magnet around. A Stepping Motor System consists of three basic elements, often combined with some type of user interface (Host Computer, PLC or Dumb Terminal):

Figure (1): stepping Motor System. The Indexer (or Controller) is a microprocessor capable of generating step pulses and direction signals for the driver. In addition, the indexer is typically required to perform many other sophisticated command functions. The Driver (or Amplifier) converts the indexer command signals into the power necessary to energize the motor windings. There are numerous types of drivers, with different current/amperage ratings and construction technology. Not all drivers are suitable to run all motors, so when designing a Motion Control System the driver selection process is critical. The Step Motor is an electromagnetic device that converts digital pulses into mechanical shaft rotation. Advantages of step motors are low cost, high reliability, high torque at low speeds and a simple, rugged construction that operates in almost any environment. The main disadvantages in using a step motor is the resonance effect often exhibited at low speeds and decreasing torque with increasing speed.

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2. STEPPER MOTOR IN MOTION
Figure (2) is the cross-section view of a single-stack variable reluctance motor. The stator core is the outer structure and has six poles or teeth. The inner device is called the rotor and has four poles. Both the stator and rotor are made of soft steel. The stator has three sets of windings as shown in the figure. Each set has two coils connected in series. A set of windings is called a “phase”. The motor above, using this designation, is a three-phase motor. Current is supplied from the DC power source to the windings via the switches I, II, and, III.

Figure (2):

Stepper Motor States for Motion.

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2.1.

STATES OF A STEPPER MOTOR AT MOTION
According to Figure (2).

Starting with state (1) in the upper left diagram, note that in state (1), the winding of Phase I is supplied with current through switch I. This is called in technical terms, “phase I is excited”. Arrows on the coil windings indicate the magnetic flux, which occurs in the air-gap due to the excitation. In state I, the two stator poles on phase I being excited are in alignment with two of the four rotor teeth. This is an equilibrium state. Next, switch II is closed to excite phase II in addition to phase I. Magnetic flux is built up at the stator poles of phase II in the manner shown in state (2), the upper right diagram. A counter-clockwise torque is created due to the “tension” in the inclined magnetic flux lines. The rotor will begin to move and achieve state (3), the lower left diagram. In state (3) the rotor has moved 15°. When switch I is opened to de-energize phase I, the rotor will travel another 15° and reach state (4). The angular position of the rotor can thus be controlled in units of the step angle by a switching process. If the switching is carried out in sequence, the rotor will rotate with a stepped motion; the switching process can also control the average speed.

2.2.

STEP ANGLE ($s)

The step angle, the number of degrees a rotor will turn per step, is calculated as follows:

And for this motor:

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Stepper Motor Systems

3. TYPES OF STEPPER MOTORS
There are three types of stepper motors in order of increasing complexity: variable reluctance, permanent magnet, and hybrid. The variable reluctance stepper has s solid soft steel rotor with salient poles. The permanent magnet stepper has a cylindrical permanent magnet rotor. The hybrid stepper has soft steel teeth added to the permanent magnet rotor for a smaller step angle.

3.1.

Variable Reluctance Stepper

A variable reluctance stepper motor relies upon magnetic flux seeking the lowest reluctance path through a magnetic circuit. This means that an irregularly shaped soft magnetic rotor will move to complete a magnetic circuit, minimizing the length of any high reluctance air gap. The stator typically has three windings distributed between pole pairs, the rotor four salient poles, yielding a 30o step angle. Figure (3) A de-energized stepper with no detent torque when hand rotated is identifiable as a variable reluctance type stepper.

Figure (3): Three phase and four phase variable reluctance stepper motors.

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Figure (4): Stepping sequence for variable reluctance stepper. The drive waveforms for the 3-< stepper can be seen in the “Reluctance motor” section. The drive for a 4-< stepper is shown in Figure (4). Sequentially switching the stator phases produces a rotating magnetic field which the rotor follows. However, due to the lesser number of rotor poles, the rotor moves less than the stator angle for each step. For a variable reluctance stepper motor, the step angle is given by:

In Figure (4), moving from <1 to <2, etc., the stator magnetic field rotates clockwise. The rotor moves counterclockwise (CCW). Note what does not happen! The dotted rotor tooth does not move to the next stator tooth. Instead, the <2 stator field attracts a different tooth in moving the rotor CCW, which is a smaller angle (15o) than the stator angle of 30o. The rotor tooth angle of 45o enters into the calculation by the above equation. The rotor moved CCW to the next rotor tooth at 45o, but it aligns with a CW by 30o stator tooth. Thus, the actual step angle is the difference between a stator angle of 45o and a rotor angle of 30o. How far would the stepper rotate if the rotor and stator had the same number of teeth? Zero–no notation. Sana’a University 12

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Stepper Motor Systems

Starting at rest with phase <1 energized, three pulses are required (<2, <3, <4) to align the “dotted” rotor tooth to the next CCW stator Tooth, which is 45o. With 3pulses per stator tooth, and 8-stator teeth, 24-pulses or steps move the rotor through 360o. By reversing the sequence of pulses, the direction of rotation is reversed above right. The direction, step rate, and number of steps are controlled by a stepper motor controller feeding a driver or amplifier. This could be combined into a single circuit board. The controller could be a microprocessor or a specialized integrated circuit. The driver is not a linear amplifier, but a simple on-off switch capable of high enough current to energize the stepper. In principle, the driver could be a relay or even a toggle switch for each phase. In practice, the driver is either discrete transistor switches or an integrated circuit. Both driver and controller may be combined into a single integrated circuit accepting a direction command and step pulse. It outputs current to the proper phases in sequence. Disassemble a reluctance stepper to view the internal components. Otherwise, we show the internal construction of a variable reluctance stepper motor in Figure (5). The rotor has protruding poles so that they may be attracted to the rotating stator field as it is switched. An actual motor is much longer than our simplified illustration.

Figure (5): Variable reluctance stepper motor.

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The shaft is frequently fitted with a drive screw. Figure (6), this may move the heads tted y of a floppy drive upon command by the floppy drive controller. mmand Variable reluctance stepper motors are applied when only a moderate level of torque per ate is required and a coarse step angle is adequate. A screw drive, as used in a floppy s disk drive is such an application When the controller powers-up, it does not know plication. the position of the carriage. However, it can drive the carriage toward the optical age. oward interrupter, calibrating the position at which the knife edge cuts the interrupter as he “home”. The controller counts step pulses from this position. As long as the load torque does not exceed the motor torque, the controller will know the carriage d now position.

Figure (6): Variable reluctance stepper drives lead screw ew.

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3.2.

Permanent magnet stepper

A permanent magnet stepper motor has a cylindrical permanent magnet rotor. The stator usually has two windings. The windings could be center tapped to allow for a unipolar driver circuit where the polarity of the magnetic field is changed by switching a voltage from one end to the other of the winding. A bipolar drive of alternating polarity is required to power windings without the center tap. A pure permanent magnet stepper usually has a large step angle .Rotation of the shaft of a deenergized motor exhibits detent torque. If the detent angle is large, say 7.5o to 90o, it is likely a permanent magnet stepper rather than a hybrid stepper (next subsection). Permanent magnet stepper motors require phased alternating currents applied to the two (or more) windings. In practice, this is almost always square waves generated from DC by solid state electronics. Bipolar drive is square waves alternating between (+) and (-) polarities, say, +2.5 V to -2.5 V. Unipolar drive supplies a (+) and (-) alternating magnetic flux to the coils developed from a pair of positive square waves applied to opposite ends of a center tapped coil. The timing of the bipolar or unipolar wave is wave drive, full step, or half step. 3.2.1. Step Sequencing There are three modes of operation when using a stepper motor. The mode of operation is determined by the step sequence applied. The three step sequences are: 3.2.1.1. Wave drive Conceptually, the simplest drive is wave drive. Figure (7) The rotation sequence left to right is positive <-1 points rotor north pole up, (+) <-2 points rotor north right, negative <-1 attracts rotor north down, (-) <-2 points rotor left. The wave drive waveforms below show that only one coil is energized at a time. While simple, this does not produce as much torque as other drive techniques.

Figure (7): PM wave drive sequence (a) J1+, (b) J2+, (c) J1- , (d) J2-. Sana’a University 1

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Stepper Motor Systems

The waveforms in Figure (8) are bipolar because both polarities, (+) and (-) drive the stepper. The coil magnetic field reverses because the polarity of the drive current reverses.

Figure (8): Waveforms: bipolar wave drive. As in Figure (9), the waveforms are unipolar because only one polarity is required. This simplifies the drive electronics, but requires twice as many drivers. There are twice as many waveforms because a pair of (+) waves is required to produce an alternating magnetic field by application to opposite ends of a center tapped coil. The motor requires alternating magnetic fields. These may be produced by either unipolar or bipolar waves. However, motor coils must have center taps for unipolar drive.

Figure (9): Waveforms: unipolar wave drive. Figure (10) illustrates that Permanent magnet stepper motors are manufactured with various lead-wire configurations. The 4-wire motor can only be driven by bipolar waveforms. The 6-wire motor, the most common arrangement, is intended for unipolar drive because of the center taps. Though, it may be driven by bipolar waves if the center taps are ignored. The 5-wire motor can only be driven by unipolar waves, as the common center tap interferes if both windings are energized simultaneously. The 8-wire configuration is rare, but provides maximum flexibility. It may be wired for unipolar drive as for the 6wire or 5-wire motor. A pair of coils may be connected in series for high voltage bipolar low current drive, or in parallel for low voltage high current drive.

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Figure (10): Stepper motor wiring diagrams A bifilar winding is produced by winding the coils with two wires in parallel, often a red and green enamelled wire. This method produces exact 1:1 turns ratios for center tapped windings. This winding method is applicable to all but the 4-wire arrangement above. 3.2.1.2. Full step drive

Full step drive provides more torque than wave drive because both coils are energized at the same time. This attracts the rotor poles midway between the two field poles. Figure (11) illustrates that.

Figure (11): Full step, bipolar drive. Full step bipolar drive as shown in Figure (11) has the same step angle as wave drive. Unipolar drive (not shown) would require a pair of unipolar waveforms for each of the above bipolar waveforms applied to the ends of a center tapped winding. Unipolar drive uses a less complex, less expensive driver circuit. The additional cost of bipolar drive is justified when more torque is required. Sana’a University 1

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Stepper Motor Systems

Half step drive

The step angle for a given stepper motor geometry is cut in half with half step drive. This corresponds to twice as many step pulses per revolution. As it’s shown in Figure (12), half stepping provides greater resolution in positioning of the motor shaft. For example, half stepping the motor moving the print head across the paper of an inkjet printer would double the dot density.

Figure (12): Half step, bipolar drive. Half step drive is a combination of wave drive and full step drive with one winding energized, followed by both windings energized, yielding twice as many steps. The unipolar waveforms for half step drive are shown above. The rotor aligns with the field poles as for wave drive and between the poles as for full step drive. Microstepping is possible with specialized controllers. By varying the currents to the windings sinusoidally many microsteps can be interpolated between the normal positions.

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3.2.2. Construction of a permanent magnet stepper motor The construction of a permanent magnet stepper motor is considerably different from the drawings above. It is desirable to increase the number of poles beyond that illustrated to produce a smaller step angle. It is also desirable to reduce the number of windings, or at least not increase the number of windings for ease of manufacture.

Figure (13): Permanent magnet stepper motor, 24-pole can-stack construction. The permanent magnet stepper (Figure (13)) only has two windings, yet has 24poles in each of two phases. This style of construction is known as can stack. A phase winding is wrapped with a mild steel shell, with fingers brought to the center. One phase, on a transient basis, will have a north side and a south side. Each side wraps around to the center of the doughnut with twelve interdigitated fingers for a total of 24 poles. These alternating north-south fingers will attract the permanent magnet rotor. If the polarity of the phase were reversed, the rotor would jump 360o/24 = 15o. We do not know which direction, which is not useful. However, if we energize B-1 followed by B-2, the rotor will move 7.5o because the B-2 is offset (rotated) by 7.5o from B-1. See below for offset. And, it will rotate in a reproducible direction if the phases are alternated. Application of any of the above waveforms will rotate the permanent magnet rotor.

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3.3.

Hybrid stepper motor

The hybrid stepper motor combines features of both the variable reluctance stepper and the permanent magnet stepper to produce a smaller step angle. The rotor is a cylindrical permanent magnet, magnetized along the axis with radial soft iron teeth, Figure (14) and Figure (15). The stator coils are wound on alternating poles with corresponding teeth. There are typically two winding phases distributed between pole pairs. This winding may be center tapped for unipolar drive. The center tap is achieved by a bifilar winding, a pair of wires wound physically in parallel, but wired in series. The north-south poles of a phase swap polarity when the phase drive current is reversed. Bipolar drive is required for un-tapped windings.

Figure (14): Hybrid stepper motor. Note that the 48-teeth on one rotor section are offset by half a pitch from the other. See rotor pole detail above. This rotor tooth offset is also shown below. Due to this offset, the rotor effectively has 96 interleaved poles of opposite polarity. This offset allows for rotation in 1/96th of a revolution steps by reversing the field polarity of one phase. Two phase windings are common as shown above and below. Though, there could be as many as five phases.

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Figure (15): Typical Section of Hybrid Stepper Motor. The stator teeth on the 8-poles correspond to the 48-rotor teeth, except for missing teeth in the space between the poles. Thus, one pole of the rotor, said the South Pole, may align with the stator in 48 distinct positions. However, the teeth of the South Pole are offset from the north teeth by half a tooth. Therefore, the rotor may align with the stator in 96 distinct positions. This half tooth offset shows in the rotor pole detail above, or Figure (6). As if this were not complicated enough, the stator main poles are divided into two phases (<-1, <-2). These stator phases are offset from one another by one-quarter of a tooth. This detail is only discernable on the schematic diagrams below. The result is that the rotor moves in steps of a quarter of a tooth when the phases are alternately energized. In other words, the rotor moves in 2 96=192 steps per revolution for the above stepper. The above drawing is representative of an actual hybrid stepper motor. However, we provide a simplified pictorial and schematic representation (Figure (16)) to illustrate details not obvious above. Note the reduced number of coils and teeth in rotor and stator for simplicity. In the next two figures, we attempt to illustrate the quarter tooth rotation produced by the two stator phases offset by a quarter tooth, and the rotor half tooth offset. The quarter tooth stator offset in conjunction with drive current timing also defines direction of rotation.

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Figure (16): Hybrid stepper motor schematic diagram. 3.3.1. Features of hybrid stepper schematic (Figure (16)) o The top of the permanent magnet rotor is the south-pole, the bottom north. o The rotor north-south teeth are offset by half a tooth. o If the <-1 stator is temporarily energized north top, south bottom. o The top <-1 stator teeth align north to rotor top south teeth. o The bottom <-1’ stator teeth align south to rotor bottom north teeth. o Enough torque applied to the shaft to overcome the hold-in torque would move the rotor by one tooth. o If the polarity of <-1 were reversed, the rotor would move by one-half tooth, direction unknown. The alignment would be south stator top to north rotor bottom, north stator bottom to south rotor. o The <-2 stator teeth are not aligned with the rotor teeth when <-1 is energized. In fact, the <-2 stator teeth are offset by one-quarter tooth. This will allow for rotation by that amount if <-1 is de-energized and <-2 energized. Polarity of <-1 and <-2 drive determines direction of rotation. Sana’a University 2

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Figure (17): Hybrid stepper motor rotation sequence.

3.3.2. Hybrid stepper motor rotation (Figure (17)) o Rotor top is permanent magnet south, bottom north. Fields <-1 and <-2 are switchable: on, off, reverse. o (a) <-1=on=north-top, <-2=off. Align (top to bottom): <-1 stator-N: rotor-top-S, <-1’ stator-S: rotor-bottom-N. Start position, rotation=0. o (b) <-1=off, <-2=on. Align (right to left): <-2 stator-N-right: rotor-top-S, <-2’ stator-S: rotor-bottom-N. Rotate 1/4 tooth, total rotation=1/4 tooth. o (c) <-1=reverse (on), <-2=off. Align (bottom to top): <-1 stator-S: rotor-bottomN, <-1’ stator-N: rotor-top-S. Rotate 1/4 tooth from last position. Total rotation from start: ½ tooth. o Not shown: <-1=off, <-2=reverse (on). Align (left to right): Total rotation: 3/4 tooth. o Not shown: <-1=on, <-2=off (same as (a)). Align (top to bottom): Total rotation 1-tooth. An un-powered stepper motor with detent torque is either a permanent magnet stepper or a hybrid stepper. The hybrid stepper will have a small step angle, much less than the 7.5o of permanent magnet steppers. The step angle could be a fraction of a degree, corresponding to a few hundred steps per revolution. Sana’a University 1

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4. TYPES OF STEPPER MOTORS IN SUMMARY

It’s Summary • The rotor is a soft iron cylinder with salient (protruding) poles. VARIABLE-RELUCTANCE • This is the least complex, most inexpensive stepper STEPPER MOTOR motor. • The only type stepper with no detent torque in hand rotation of a de-energized motor shaft. • Large step angle • A lead screw is often mounted to the shaft for linear stepping motion. • The rotor is a permanent magnet, often a ferrite sleeve magnetized with numerous poles. PERMANENT-MAGNET • Can-stack construction provides numerous poles from a STEPPER MOTOR single coil with interleaved fingers of soft iron. • Large to moderate step angle. • Often used in computer printers to advance paper. • The step angle is smaller than variable reluctance or permanent magnet steppers. HYBRID STEPPER MOTOR • The rotor is a permanent magnet with fine teeth. North and south teeth are offset by half a tooth for a smaller step angle. • The stator poles have matching fine teeth of the same pitch as the rotor. • The stator windings are divided into no less than two phases. • The poles of one stator windings are offset by a quarter tooth for an even smaller step angle. TABLE (1): Stepper Motor Types in Points.

Type of Motor

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5. DESIGN SPECIFICATION AND DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS 5.1. DESIGN SPECIFICATION

When a design brief has been agreed on, it is necessary to draw up a design specification. This is a detailed description of what a product or system would be like, what it will do and who will use it. If a stepper motor is to be used, you must decide on which commercial type and how to drive it. There are a variety of commercial stepper motors available, each of which comes with its own performance specification. You are advised to experiment with this or a similar motor using a 'Bit by Bit' controller board. This will quickly familiarize you with the way stepper motors are controlled. The same board might also be used as a dedicated control board for your project.

5.2.

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

The electrical compatibility between the motor and the driver are the most critical factors in a stepper motor system design. Some general guidelines in the selection of these components are: 5.2.1. INDUCTANCE Stepper motors are rated with a varying degree of inductance. A high inductance motor will provide a greater amount of torque at low speeds and similarly the reverse is true. 5.2.2. SERIES, PARALLEL CONNECTION There are two ways to connect a stepper motor; in series or in parallel. A series connection provides a high inductance and therefore greater performance at low speeds. A parallel connection will lower the inductance but increase the torque at faster speeds.

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Stepper Motor Systems

The following (Figure (18)) is a typical speed/torque curve for a driver and motor connected in series and parallel:

Figure (18): Series vs. Parallel Motor Connections. 5.2.3. DRIVER VOLTAGE The higher the output voltage from the driver, the higher the level of Torque vs. Speed. Generally, the driver output voltage should be rated higher than the motor voltage rating. 5.2.4. MOTOR STIFFNESS By design, stepping motors tend to run stiff. Reducing the current flow to the motor by a small percentage will smooth the rotation. Likewise, increasing the motor current will increase the stiffness but will also provide more torque. Trade-offs between speed, torque and resolution are a main consideration in designing a step motor system. 5.2.5. MOTOR HEAT Step motors are designed to run hot (50º-90º C). However, too much current may cause excessive heating and damage to the motor insulation and windings. Some step motors reduce the risk of overheating by providing a programmable Run/Hold current feature.

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Stepper Motor Systems

6. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF STEPPER MOTORS 6.1. ADVANTAGES OF STEPPER MOTORS
a. Position error is noncumulative. A high accuracy of motion is possible, even under open-loop control. b. Large savings in sensor (measurement system) and controller costs are possible when the open-loop mode is used. c. Because of the incremental nature of command and motion, stepper motors are easily adaptable to digital control applications. d. No serious stability problems exist, even under open-loop control. e. Torque capacity and power requirements can be optimized and the response can be controlled by electronic switching. f. Brushless construction has obvious advantages.

6.2.

DISADVANTAGES OF STEPPER MOTORS
a. They have low torque capacity (typically less than 2,000 oz-in) compared to DC motors. b. They have limited speed (limited by torque capacity and by pulsemissing problems due to faulty switching systems and drive circuits). c. They have high vibration levels due to stepwise motion. d. Large errors and oscillations can result when a pulse is missed under open-loop control.

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Stepper Motor Systems

7. DRIVER TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW
Now we will shortly discuss other important complementary parts of the stepping motor system. The stepper motor driver (Figure (19)) receives low-level signals from the indexer or control system and converts them into electrical (step) pulses to run the motor. One step pulse is required for every step of the motor shaft. In full step mode, with a standard 200 step motor, 200 step pulses are required to complete one revolution. Likewise, in microstepping mode the driver may be required to generate 50,000 or more step pulses per revolution.

Figure (19): Driver in a stepping motor systems. Speed and torque performance of the step motor is based on the flow of current from the driver to the motor winding. The factor that inhibits the flow, or limits the time it takes for the current to energize the winding, is known as inductance. The lower the inductance, the faster the current gets to the winding and the better the performance of the motor. To reduce inductance, most types of driver circuits are designed to supply a greater amount of voltage than the motors rated voltage.

8. INDEXER OVERVIEW
The indexer, or controller, provides step and direction outputs to the driver. Most applications require that the indexer manage other control functions as well, including acceleration, deceleration, steps per second and distance. The indexer can also interface to and control, many other external signals. (Figure (20))

Figure (20): Indexer in a stepping motor system.

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Some applications require a high degree of synchronization, such as circular or linear interpolation. Here, it may be necessary to coordinate the movement with a central processor.

9. STEPPER MOTOR CONTROL REQUIREMENTS

We prefer to focus separately on the motor control this section deals with a unipolar drive topology and focuses on the full and half-step operation mode. The principal driver design for a unipolar stepper motor is shown below, in Figure (21).

Figure (21): Unipolar Stepper Motor drive. The circuit contains four power MOSFETs responsible for the current flow through the windings. The center tap of the motor winding is connected to the positive voltage supply. Each coil can be energized in either direction by turning on the appropriate MOSFET. The driving pattern is similar to the energizing states shown in Figure (21). When a motor is operated at a fixed rated voltage its torque output decreases as step rate rises. This is because the increasing back EMF and the rise time of the coil current limits the power actually delivered to the motor. The effect is governed by the motor time constant (L/R). Because of their higher winding resistance unipolar motors have a better (L/R) ratio than their bipolar equivalents.

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The effect can be compensated by either increasing the power supply voltage to maintain constant current as stepping rate increases, or by increasing supply voltage by a fixed amount and adding series resistors to the circuit. There is good reason to run a stepping motor at a supply voltage above that needed to push the maximum rated current through the motor windings. Running a motor at higher voltages leads to a faster rise in the current through the windings when they are turned on, and this, in turn, leads to a higher cutoff speed for the motor and higher torques at speeds above the cutoff. In this application design a PI Regulator is used to maintain current at an average user defined level. The whole PI Regulator is software based to keep external parts as few as possible. The following figure (Figure (22)) shows a schematic for general motor control design with a microcontroller.

Figure (22): General Motor Control Design.

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The functions of the components in detail are shown in TABLE (2) below: Main Supply Microcontroller Power Supply Provides circuit energy. Regulates voltage and current for the microcontroller. Produces the accurate signals for switching the MOSFETs also contains protection circuit, which ensures on change of the clock frequency that the stepping motor does not loose steps. Microcontroller observes and regulates the current flow through the motor. Switches the power necessary for the motor phases. Gives continuously information about the current flow through the windings to the microcontroller.

• •

Microcontroller

Driver Current Sensor

• •

TABLE (2): Functions of Stepper Motor Control Components. Stepper motor control requirements are summarized below: o Driver circuit to provide necessary power for the stepper motor. o Current limiting device (software based). o Interrupted based microcontroller algorithm to produce exact output signals. For the closed loop current control of the motor: o Measurement of the motor current. o PWM Signal to control motor current and power. Sana’a University 0

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10.

APPLICATIONS OF STEPPERS IN PRACTICAL FIELDS

Electric motors of different types and sizes are used in increasingly large numbers in manufactured products ranging from cars to children’s toys. This reflects increasing consumer expectations, advances in manufacturing methods and motor design (with cost reductions), and the need for specialized motors generated by a new generation of products such as video recorders, computer and computer accessories. Nowadays, stepper motors are used in a wide variety of applications. They are prevalent in consumer office equipment such as printers, scanners, copiers and plotters. They also play an important role in the industry, use in robotics or dashboard indicators, climate control systems in the automotive industry.

Figure (23): a 3D-view of a stepper motor. A stepper motor has a permanent magnet rotor that revolves within fixed stator coils. Unlike a brushless motor, however, there are no sensors. The rotor is driven around by switching the coils on and off in a special sequence using a driver circuit.

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First Semester 2008-2009

Stepper Motor Systems

Although generally more expensive than the other types, stepper motors offer many more opportunities for precision control because they can be made to turn through an exact number of steps. Stepper motors are therefore used, for example, to drive the moving parts of CNC machine tools and computer printers. Up to 15 stepper motors might be used to affect the mechanical paper feeding operations in a modern photocopier.

Figure (24): Photocopier and other applications.

Sana’a University

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First Semester 2008-2009

Stepper Motor Systems

11.

DESIGN OPPORTUNITIES

It is often thought that stepper motors are difficult to use and are suitable only for specialized commercial applications. This is not correct. It is very easy to learn how to use and drive a stepper motor using, for instance, a 'Bit by Bit' controller. (This can also be turned into a very powerful dedicated control board by adding external logic etc.) It is also very straightforward to design and make other types of stepper motor controller. There are likely to be many local problems in an industrial, domestic or commercial context where the use of a stepper motor offers an advantage in providing precise positional control. Examples include the following: A small conveyor system driven by a single stepper motor that needs to be started or stopped more or less instantly by a control signal.

Figure (25): Stepper Motor in an Industrial Conveyor

Sana’a University

First Semester 2008-2009

Stepper Motor Systems

A stepper-motor-driven linear table which fits onto a drilling machine. The steps of the motor are displayed on an inexpensive electronic counter to show the precise distance moved by the table. Uses of the table include drilling holes at precise spacings for making gear boxes whose gears need to be precisely depthed. A 'micro-manipulator' robot using a single stepper motor to transport very small components over short distances. (This is a SCARA - Semi Compliant Articulated Robot Arm – which moves in just one plane.)

Figure (26): An Articulated Robot.

Sana’a University

First Semester 2008-2009

Stepper Motor Systems

An advertising system using a number of vertical columns which viewed as a whole, display an image. When the columns are rotated through an angle, one image fades and another takes its place.

Figure (27): A Public advertisement board. Also stepper motors has been used in Film advance.

Figure (28): Using a Stepper Motor for Filming.

Sana’a University

First Semester 2008-2009

Stepper Motor Systems

Another widely using of stepper motors in Labeling Machines.

Figure (29): A Labeling Machine.

Sana’a University

First Semester 2008-2009

Stepper Motor Systems

It is frequently used in Window Blind Gluing.

Figure (30): Window Blind Gluing.

Sana’a University

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First Semester 2008-2009

Stepper Motor Systems

Finally stepper motors are too used in the Factory’s Tube Cutter.

Figure (31): A Factory’s Tube Cutter.

Sana’a University

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First Semester 2008-2009

Stepper Motor Systems

12.

OUR MAIN REFERENCES AND SOURCES

1. James T. Humphries, Motors and Controls, Merrill Publishing Co., 1988. Controls 2. D P Kothari and I J Nagrath, Electric Machines Tata McGraw-Hill, 3rd Edition, Machines, 2007. Circuits, 3. Tony R. Kuphaldt, Lessons In Electric Circuits Volume II –Sixth Edition, 2007. 4. Internet Web Sites.

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