Posts Tagged 'Stepper Motor'

New 20mm Linear Stepper Motor now available from Nippon Pulse

RADFORD, Va. – Nippon Pulse is excited to introduce its smallest linear stepper motor yet, the PFL20 Linearstep. The PFL20 is a highly efficient, high thrust tin-can linear actuator with a 20mm diameter and a bipolar winding.

PFL20 is RoHS-compliant, has a 30/60mm effective stroke, and can reach 6 N of force at 200 pps. With 24 steps per revolution, the lead screw has a 1.2mm thread pitch; the PFL20 also reaches 5V rated voltage, resistance of 33 Ohms/phase and inductance of 12mH/phase. The datasheet with additional specifications can be found here.

The simple structure of Linearstep motors – just a threaded rotor hub and lead screw – helps to save space and reduce costs, due to fewer components needed compared to systems that convert rotary motion to linear. Linearstep motors are also easy to control, and can be ordered with unipolar or bipolar windings and a variety of usable voltages. In addition to the 20mm motor size, this motor is also available in 25mm (captive or non-captive option) and 35mm diameter sizes.

Nippon Pulse’s tin-can linear actuators, including the Linearstep, are also available for customization; contact an applications engineer to learn more about our customization capabilities.

Information on the PFL20 from Nippon Pulse can be viewed at:

For further information, please contact:

Warren Osak
Toll Free Phone:   877-737-8698
Toll Free Fax:       877-737-8699


Tags:  Linear Step Motor, PFL20, Stepper Motor, Electromate, Nippon Pulse

A Primer on Stepper Motors

A Step Motor is a motor with windings in the stator and permanent magnets attached to the rotor. It provides fixed mechanical increments of motion; these increments are referred to as steps and are generally specified in degrees. A step motor, in conjunction with a stepper drive, rotates in predefined angles proportional to the digital input command (stepper) pulses. A typical full-step system achieves 200 steps per revolution, this equates to 1.8º per full step.


Steps per revolution equals 360° divided by step angle (0.9°, 1.8°, 3.75°, 7.5° and 15°) when the motors are driven in full-step excitation mode.

0.9° = 400 steps/rev
1.8° = 200 steps/rev
7.5° = 48 steps/rev
15° = 24 steps/rev


There are several advantages of using stepper motors.  Step motors provide acceleration torque equal to running torque and require no maintenance.  Speed can easily be determined and controlled by remembering speed equals steps per revolution divided by pulse rate.  Stepper motors can also make fine incremental moves and do not require a feedback encoder (open loop). Stepper motors also have fast acceleration capability and have non-cumulative positioning error. Along with excellent low speed/high torque characteristics without gear reduction, stepper motors can also be used to hold loads in a stationary position without creating overheating.

Disadvantages of step motors include: loss of synchronization resulting position error, resonance affecting motor smoothness, limited operation at high speeds, running hot, and can stall with excessive loads.


Variable Reluctance:  Has teeth on the rotor and stator but no rotor permanent magnet.

Permanent Magnet:  Has a permanent magnet for a rotor but no soft iron rotor teeth.  Permanent magnet step motors can be subdivided into ‘tin-can or can-stack’ and ‘hybrid’, tin-can (can-stack) being an inexpensive version, and hybrid versions constructed with higher quality bearings, smaller step angle and higher power density.

Hybrid Synchronous:  Combines the magnet from the permanent magnet motor and the rotor and stator teeth from the variable reluctance motor.


Step motors can be linear or rotary.  Electromate® offers a full line of low-cost short-delivery hybrid rotary step motors from sizes NEMA 8 to NEMA 42, including IP65 rated step motors and stepper gearmotors.  Electromate®‘s step motors are available in 4, 6 & 8 lead configurations for bipolar or unipolar operation, and can be wired in series or parallel.  All our step motors have optional rear shaft extensions, encoders and gearboxes.

Linear Step Motors are also known as Step Motor Linear Actuators, and have a threaded rod/acme screw in place of a smooth shaft.  Linear step motors provide a simple motion system at a fraction of the cost of conventional rotary stepper motors and traditional linear motion systems.  Linear step motors offers a wide range of customizable options, including various screw pitches, screw lengths, bipolar or unipolar windings, and several operating voltages.

CLICK HERE to view Electromate’s full family of Stepper Motors.

For more information, please contact:

Warren Osak
Toll Free Phone:   877-737-8698
Toll Free Fax:       877-737-8699


Tags:  Step Motor, Stepper Motor, Rotary Step Motor, Linear Step Motor, Step Motor Linear Actuator, Variable Reluctance Motor, Hybrid Synchronous Motor,  Permanent Magnet Motor, Electromate

New Integrated StepSERVO™ Motors from Applied Motion Products

Integrated Step Motors fuse step motor plus drive and control components into a single device. Integrated steppers offer a space-saving design that reduces wiring and saves on cost over separate motor and drive components.


Ideally suited for applications such as packaging and labeling, automated test and measurement, automated assembly and life sciences, StepSERVO™ motors from Applied Motion Products provide the next evolution integrated step motor technology. Starting with a proven integrated motor design, we add a high-resolution incremental encoder and closed-loop servo firmware to create a motor that offers the best step motor performance available today. StepSERVO™ motors offer the same high-torque-at-low-speed and excellent holding torque characteristics of open loop stepping motors with the advantages of true closed-loop control. These advantages include the ability to create peak torques from the motor up to 50% higher than the normal torque range of the same step motor running open loop. Closed-loop also means the motor only draws current when it needs it, so step motors now run cooler than ever before.  StepSERVO™ motors feature:

  • NEMA frame size 17, 23 and 24. StepSERVO motors utilize 5000 line incremental encoders (20,000 counts/rev)
  • NEMA frame size 11. StepSERVO motors utilize 1024 line incremental encoders (4,096 counts/rev)
  • Closed-loop servo control using high torque step motors
  • High acceleration for faster machine cycles and greater productivity
  • Energy efficient, cool running
  • All-in-one compact solution
  • IP65 versions for wet and dusty environments
  • Stand-alone operation (stored Q programming)
  • EtherNet/IP industrial networking option
  • CANopen fieldbus option
  • Modbus RTU option for easy PLC/HMI connection

Click on the following link to view a 30minute YouTube Video on the StepSERVO™ integrated stepper motor.

There are three types of StepSERVO™ to choose from:

SSM integrated steppers feature:Applied Motion Products SSM23IP-3EG

  • NEMA 23 frame size motors
  • Ethernet (RJ-45) port for programming
  • EtherNet/IP industrial networking standard
  • Three motor lengths (stack lengths) available to provide the highest amount of torque in the shortest motor possible


TSM integrated steppers feature:

  • NEMA 11 (New!), NEMA 17 and NEMA 23 frame size motors
  • RS-232 or RS-485 port for programming and streaming commandsApplied Motion Products TSM11-1
  • Control options including CANopen fieldbus control, digital step & direction control, analog velocity mode, streaming commands and stand-alone operation using stored Q programs.
  • Three motor lengths available in each frame size to provide the highest amount of torque for each length


TXM integrated steppers feature:

  • IP65 rated for wet and dusty environmentsApplied Motion Products TXM24C-3CG
  • NEMA 24 frame size motors
  • RS-232, RS-485 or Ethernet port (M12) for programming, streaming commands and fieldbus/networking
  • Control options include CANopen fieldbus control, EtherNet/IP industrial networking, digital step & direction control, analog velocity mode, streaming commands and stand-alone operation using stored Q programs.
  • Two motor lengths available to provide both a lower torque and a higher torque option depending on application requirements

CLICK HERE for additional information on the StepSERVO™ motors from Applied Motion Products.

Why Does My Step Motor Get Hot? – The Why? Series YouTube Video

New 4 minute YouTube Video

Can my step motor get hot enough to cook an egg?  In this segment of The Why? Series, Bob White, Manager, Training and Digital Marketing at Kollmorgen, explains why a typical step motor may get hot.  Learn why a step motor will heat up, and what can be done to reduce this heating…unless of course, you are looking to cook an egg!

Click on the link below to view this 4 minute YouTube Video.

Tags:  Step Motor, Stepper Motor, Kollmorgen, Electromate


This Motor Maker Is Heading Into Space and Killing It

Reprint of 10/25/15 Design News article by Tracey Schelmetic, Contributing Writer

Empire Magnetics Space MotorAs commercial space flight becomes a reality, it has launched a movement to develop industrial systems that will operate in a variety of harsh environments from the intense G-forces of vehicle launches, to zero gravity, to temperatures far beyond those on Earth.  While some of the most urgent problems for motors in space have been largely solved in previous decades — bearings and lubrication issues, in particular – there are new engineering challenges as motors are custom-developed for space applications.  Typical motors are designed for low cost and high manufacturing volume.  For space applications, the precise opposite is true.

Rohnert Park, Calif.-based Empire Magnetics Inc. has a tagline: “Motors that survive.”  The company designed and built some of the momentum controls for the Wake Shield Facility, an experimental science platform that was placed in low earth orbit by the Space Shuttle.  The facility is a 12-foot-diameter free-flying stainless steel disk designed to redirect atmospheric particles around the sides to create an “ultra vacuum” that is used to study epitaxial film growth.

Empire also custom-built and designed an actuator for commercial space flight company Orbital Sciences.  The actuator needed to be exceptionally stiff to be able to operate under the extreme G forces of flight launches.  The company’s solution used a double-ended screw combined with a hollow-shafted motor; it was a design that placed all of the thrust loads on the screw, so the motor needed only enough torque to turn the screw.

Richard Halstead, Empire’s president, in an interview with Design News, noted that the difference between Earth motors and space motors is that the former do not have to take into consideration the selection of materials that will survive vacuum, space radiation, or temperature extremes.  There is also the cost of a motor failure in space.

“The cost of failure for the supplier of a standard industrial motor is typically limited to the cost of a replacement motor,” Halstead told Design News.  “The cost of a failure in space can be exceptionally high.  Due to the steps in the manufacturing process, taking a motor completely apart and reassembling it is not feasible, as there won’t be enough material left to re-establish dimensional tolerances.”

For typical motors, when high reliability is required, designers create mechanically redundant designs.  Mechanical redundancy, however, comes with size and weight penalties that make motors impractical for use in space, and their performance may also be affected.  The inertia of two rotors takes more torque and power to accelerate than does one. Empire believes that the most practical solution is having redundant electrical circuits in the same mechanical motor housing.

Another great challenge, said Halstead, is overcoming the tendency of lubricants, varnishes, and glues to outgas in a vacuum environment.  Traditional motors are made of iron, which is stamped, coated, glued, stacked, and assembled into the basic motor structure, and this can cause serious problems, as can lubricants that are added to reduce tool wear during stamping operations.

“If there is a significant level of outgassing, the material evaporates, and then re-deposits on everything inside the chamber,” Halstead told Design News.  “The bearings can fail for lack of lubrication, while the contamination can fog optics or foul manufacturing processes.”

Temperature is one of the next biggest challenges.  The “thermal shock” of space can see equipment cycle from temperatures of 200°C in direct sunlight to temperatures of -200°C, all in a few seconds.  For spacecraft designed to go further than low Earth orbit, deep space temperatures of 20 Kelvin (-253°C) can be expected.  Warping due to thermal shock can cause mechanical lock-up of the motor, and different material expansions from thermal cycling can also cause motor lock-up. Adapting a traditional motor design for use in space is therefore asking for trouble, according to Halstead.

Typical windings in a brushless motor stator, showing complete slot fill. Redundant design is required for space applications, as a backup in case of component failure. When the engineer decides to have redundant windings, something has to change in terms of motor performance. To preserve performance specs, a better solution to mechanical redundancy is electrical redundancy in the same mechanical housing. (Source: Empire Magnetics)

Typical windings in a brushless motor stator, showing complete slot fill.  Redundant design is required for space applications, as a backup in case of component failure. When the engineer decides to have redundant windings, something has to change in terms of motor performance.  To preserve performance specs, a better solution to mechanical redundancy is electrical redundancy in the same mechanical housing. (Source: Empire Magnetics)

“Metals need to be stress-relieved; otherwise they warp or deform due to the temperature cycling,” he said. “Cold metals become brittle, so this has to be considered when doing strength calculations.  Copper shrinks faster than steel, and epoxy changes dimensions faster than magnetic iron. If these factors are not considered, the motor is likely to fail.”

Even repair processes are fundamentally altered in space applications. While individual components can be replaced on Earth, the nature of space repair – think astronauts in bulky spacesuits with limited visibility and low manual dexterity – means that whole systems must be replaced rather than repaired.  If the motor fails, it will most likely damage the electronics, so it becomes safer to simply replace the whole unit.

To use an Earth analogy, a NASCAR team wouldn’t use the motor of a Ford Escort as the building block for its Indianapolis 500 run, as Halstead puts it, and space researchers shouldn’t use a standard commercial grade motor as the building block for space exploration.

Stepper Motor Primer

Stepper Motors from Electromate

Stepper Motors from Electromate

There are three basic types of step motors: variable reluctance, permanent magnet and hybrid.  A hybrid step motor is a simple low cost means of providing good motion performance.  Step motors are electromechanical devices that work by dividing shaft rotation into discrete distances called steps. Basically, they are brushless motors which include permanent magnet variable reluctance and hybrid types.  Most step motors are hybrids and feature 200 steps per revolution (1.8 degrees). The magnetic structure of the motor is designed to be incremental in nature i.e one pulse to the motor causes the armature to move one complete step.  At power up, a hybrid step motor could rotate up to ±3.6 degrees in either direction due to the rotor having 200 natural detent positions….

Click on the link below to download this complete white paper.

For more information, please contact:


Warren Osak
Toll Free Phone:   877-737-8698
Toll Free Fax:       877-737-8699


Tags:  Step Motor, DC Step Motor, Stepper Motor, BLDC Motor, Automation, Motion Control

Stepper Motor Linear Actuators 101

What exactly is a Stepper Motor Based Linear Actuator?

Need to know how a Stepper Motor Linear Actuator works?

Suppose you, as an engineer, are tasked to design a machine or part of a machine that requires precise linear positioning.   How would you go about accomplishing this?  What is the most straightforward and effective method?

Haydon Kerk Stepper Motor Linear Actuator White Paper

Haydon Kerk Stepper Motor Linear Actuator White Paper

When students are trained in classic mechanical engineering, they are taught to construct a system using conventional mechanical components to convert rotary into linear motion.   Converting rotary to linear motion can be accomplished by several mechanical means using a motor, rack and pinion, belt and pulley, and other mechanical linkages.   The most effective way to accomplish this rotary to linear motion, however, is within the motor itself.

This White Paper, from Haydon Kerk Motion Solutions, discusses the technology behind stepper motor linear actuators, what makes them different, and concludes with a detailed example illustrating how they should be sized to move a given load.   Click on the link below to download it.

More information on the Haydon Kerk Can Stack Stepper Motor Linear Actuators can be viewed at-

For more information, please contact:

Electromate Industrial Sales Ltd.

Phone:  905-850-7447
Fax:       905-850-7451
Toll Free Phone: 877-737-8698
Toll Free Fax:   877-737-8699

Tags:  Stepper Motor, Step Motor Linear Actuator, Stepper Motor Linear Actuator, Electromate, Haydon Kerk, Step Motor, White Paper


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