Decoding Motors: Differences Between Servo and DC Motors 

Servo Motors and DC motors are highly used machinery assets for different applications within the manufacturing industry. The distinctive difference between the two types of motors is control, precision, and application. 

Servo Motors are commonly used in CNC machines, robotics, and industrial automation. Strong precision makes a servo the go to motor for automation. Torque control is a key benefit, providing control at high and low speed, for machining applications cutting through tough materials or applying significant force during the operation. 

DC Motors are commonly used in Electric Vehicles, HVAC systems and Conveyor systems. The build of the motor is simple, which contributes to the reliability of the motor, ease of maintenance and durability. Providing high-efficiency levels, a DC motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy with minimal loss. This is a benefit for businesses to reduce operating costs, also helping to become sustainable and reducing environmental impact as a business by a reduction in energy usage. This is crucial to maintain ISO 14001 standards, Environmental Management System regulations.   

Key differences between a Servo Motor and a DC Motor 

Servo and DC motors have different characteristics, as they are each suitable for different applications within the industry. The key differences are:   

Control Mechanism:  

Servo motors are designed for precision and positioning when running. Built with a feedback system, such as an encoder, to provide information on speed, direction and position when machining. This type of motor is controlled using a closed-loop control system.  

DC Motors are controlled by a signal that determines speed and direction, but not position, using an open-loop control system. 

Torque Output (Torque is the force within a motor): 

Servo’s higher torque capability allows them to control heavier loads to high precision.  

DC motors have varying torque depending on the specific type of motors, brushed or brushless. This type of motor cannot guarantee the same torque output as a Servo.  

Speed Control:  

Servos have the capability to consistently maintain a set speed as a result of the closed-loop system, and can quickly change their speed to the requirement.  

A DC motor can control the speed, however the accuracy can be affected if changes to the speed are continually altered. A DC motor will run better when set at one speed.  

Choosing your Motor 

It is crucial to investigate the specifications of the application in order to determine the appropriate motor for machining purposes. This will enhance the accuracy and effectiveness of your equipment. Neutronic suggests researching the following before investing in a Servo or DC Motor: 

Precision Requirements – If you require machining at high precision, a servo motor will meet this demand and offer accurate speed and precision when machining. A DC motor is suitable when precision control is not as critical, and simplicity and cost are key focuses.  

Compatibility Requirements Consider the implementation of the equipment into existing systems, such as communication, compatibility with controllers and programming tools.  

Cost Consideration – DC motors are considered to be more cost-effective than Servo’s, due to their build simplicity. However, consider the application requirements to make sure the investment meets the performance requirements to produce a successful ROI on the asset investment.  

Investing in a Motor? 

Our account managers at Neutronic can offer outstanding advice, if you are unsure about which motor is best suited to your manufacturing needs. Neutronic can source motors from a range of major manufacturers such as SEW-Eurodrive, WEG and ABB with reduced lead times and outstanding prices.  

Contact our team on 0845 180 0483 to discuss this further, or take a look at our supply page! 

Industry Application  

As discussed throughout the blog, different industries will require different motors to meet the manufacturing requirements. An example of an industry application is a Servo Motor being used within a CNC machine.  

A CNC machine requires high precision, this is crucial within CNC machining as they machine complex part with a high-quality surface finish. Servos offer control of speed and acceleration making it easy to adjust the speed of machining throughout the programme.  

The closed-loop control used within the Servo is what contributes to the accurate positioning when machining, which is why improved performance is offered, in comparison to a DC motor for this specific industry application.  

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Testing Times!

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

When looking for an Electric Motor Repair partner there are many different factors to consider, such as:

  • Facilities
  • 24/7 Service and Capabilities.

One of the factors that many are not aware of is the quality of the motor testing facilities of the repair centre. For example how does the repairer perform the test sequences to fully test the motor windings? If the repairer hasn’t invested in quality test equipment there is a good chance that they can’t 100% guarantee the quality of the motor windings. Electric Motors are complex pieces of equipment and they require the right type of infrastructure to carry out a repair correctly and to a high standard. Multi meters and insulation testers just won’t cut it.

You may be wondering how a full Electric Motor test should be carried out and what equipment should be used? At Neutronic we utilise the latest testing system from Electrom Instruments.

Check out the demo of our ITIG III Winding Analyzer

In particular the model we opted for is the ITIG III Winding Analyzer, widely regarded as the most advanced motor test system available. The ITIG III features over 20 different high and low voltage tests including frequency surge and partial discharge. This unique test system allows the user to set up tests and run through them automatically eradicating any potential for human error. When coupled together with the DC commutator option, as can be seen at Neutronic the iTIG III can be also used to test DC Motors to the same high specifications.

Test equipment such as the Electrom Instruments iTIG III Winding Analyzer don’t come cheap, but it’s the type of investment that will ensure that your electric motor is repaired to the highest possible standard.

If you would like to learn more about how Neutronic provide world class Electric Motor repairs get in touch.


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