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Motion Control Resources

Blog Post: Servo Motor vs Stepper Motor: Which is right for your application?

by Bill Lackey, Vice President of Sales Engineering
Motion Solutions

Servo Motor vs Stepper Motor: Which is right for your application?

ALISO VIEJO, CA - It is an engineering truism that there is no perfect solution, just the best solution for the problem at hand. That holds particularly for servo motors and stepper motors. Both are broadly used in industry. Neither is a universal solution. When properly applied, however, both stepper motor and servo motor can provide effective, reliable power for a highly successful system. The decision tree for choosing between the two has many branches but the most important are speed, acceleration, and price target.

Stepper Motors
Stepper motors consist of a rotor with permanent magnets and a stationary stator that carries the windings. When current runs through the stator windings, it generates a magnetic flux distribution that interacts with the magnetic field distribution of the rotor to apply a turning force. Stepper motors feature very high pole counts, typically 50 or more. The stepper motor driver energizes each pole in sequence so that the rotor turns in a series of increments, or steps. Because of the very high pole count, the motion appears to be continuous.

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