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Smarter Motor Control

Smarter Motor Control

The face of industry is changing with a promise of highly connected machines that communicate, coordinate and make autonomous decisions.

Speed, precision, smoothness and energy efficiency will be at the heart of Industry and the machines that drive it. The motors that move current generations of equipment often consume over 50 per cent of the total system energy supplied – to meet its full potential, next generation of motor drives needs to deliver improved performance with a significant reduction in total energy consumed.

There is currently a move to higher quality motors that have a smoother back EMF characteristic compared to basic Brushless DC (BLDC) motors. To ensure quiet, smooth motion with minimum torque ripple, a sinusoidal waveshape must be applied to the motor windings.

Field Oriented Control, or Vector Control, has become the accepted way to calculate the required voltage based on the position of the rotor as detected using Hall sensors or by monitoring the back EMF in each winding.

With the introduction of a new Vector Engine (VE), Toshiba developed a radically new solution, moving the complex vector-control equations into a dedicated hardware engine with customisable firmware, alongside a Programmable Motor Drive (PMD) block responsible for PWM waveform generation and associated functions such as dead-time control.

This has delivered multiple advantages, including up to 70% faster execution time compared to execution in software only thereby permitting higher rotor speeds.

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