Smart Stepper Motors - Precision Control for the Internet of Things | Symmetry Blog

Sep 26, 2018

The rise of automation has propelled the growth of the world economy for the past century. Ever since Ford implemented the assembly line, the production of goods has become ever more efficient. Steam and electricity brought along the industrial revolution, developing a surge in production ever since.

With the development of robotics, we are again at the golden age of production, and it is only the beginning. Complex automated systems require smarter components, and perhaps the part that requires the most precision is the motor.


What do Smart Motors offer?

The inclusion of the smart stepper motor into the market is a game changer for automation and other connected applications. In the forefront of this technology is TRINAMIC Motion Control, a leading manufacturer of chips, embedded and mechatronic solutions for motor and motion control.

A number of driver technologies offered by Trinamic help make these stepper motors the top of their class:


StealthChop - Popular noiseless current-control mode. Voltage chopper-based principle. It guarantees absolutely quiet motors when in standstill or slow motion, except for ball bearing noise. Unlike other voltage-mode choppers, StealthChop2™ doesn't require configuration. It automatically learns the best settings during first motion following power up and further optimizes settings in subsequent motions. An initial homing sequence is sufficient for this learning process.


StallGuard - Second generation of the sensorless load detection. World's first sensorless load measurement for stepper motor drivers. It provides cost effective real-time feedback on load angles and eliminates the need for reference or end switches. StallGuard reduces application cost and complexity and is specially designed for situations when precise referencing is required. StallGuard2™ is appropriate when an application requires high-resolution feedback and continuous system condition monitoring.


CoolStep - Load-dependent current control. Sensorless, load-dependent current control that uses StallGuard2™ load values. CoolStep maximizes efficiency by driving motors at optimal current.


SpreadCycle – Advanced cycle-by-cycle chopper mode. It offers smooth operation and good resonance-dampening over a wide range of speed and load. The SpreadCycle chopper scheme automatically integrates and tunes fast-decay cycles to guarantee smooth zero-crossing performance.


SensOstep – Included with the PD-1276 family. Magnetic encoder combining a hall sensor system with stepper motor, which reliably detects step or position loss – even at standstill. On the motor's rear shaft, there is a magnet, and on the PANdrive™ electronic board, the hall sensor IC provides absolute position value.


A New Family of Smart Motors

Trinamic recently announced the release of the new PD-1076 and PD-1276 family of smart stepper motors, helping bridge the gap between the connected world and the physical one. 

“For more than 15 years Trinamic manufactures smart integrated mechatronic units with the focus on ease of use and fast application development for industries like laboratory automation or special machinery,” explains Trinamic´s CEO and founder Michael Randt. “The products we present today extend the portfolio by rugged drives with high torque.”

As with all PANdrives, the new products combine the latest motor control technologies with ease of use and fast implementation. While the PD-1076 family is controlled via simple step/direction signals, the PD-1276 family is equipped with the industry standard CANopen protocol, or alternatively with the TMCL mini-PLC that can execute standalone applications, programmed in the free an easy to use TMCL-IDE.


Features and benefits:

  • NEMA23 or NEMA24 stepper motor
  • 5…3.1Nm
  • +10…+30V DC supply voltage
  • Up to 3A RMS motor current
  • Up to 256 microsteps per full step
  • StealthChop, SpreadCycle, StallGuard2 and CoolStep
  • UART configuration interface (PD57/60-x-1076)
  • CAN bus interface (PD57/60-x-1276)
  • TMCL or CANopen protocol


Who is Trinamic?

TRINAMIC Motion Control develops the world's most sophisticated technology for motion and motor control applications. Our state-of-the-art ICs, modules, and mechatronic systems enable today's software engineers to quickly and reliably develop highly precise drives that work efficiently, smoothly, and quietly. Trinamic is headquartered in Hamburg, Germany with a research center in Tallinn, Estonia, and Sales Engineers in both Chicago, IL, USA and Suzhou, China.


Looking to integrate Trinamic products with your design? Our Applications Engineers offer free design and technical help for your latest designs. Contact us today!



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Why partner with Symmetry Electronics? Symmetry's technical staff is specially trained by our suppliers to provide a comprehensive level of technical support. Our in-house Applications Engineers provide free design services to help customers early in the design cycle, providing solutions to save them time, money and frustration. Contact Symmetry for more information.


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