Episode #13: How Many Motors Do You Need For Parallel Axes On A Gantry?

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The Motion Control Show

One of the things that can really trip people up with sizing and selecting a gantry system is whether they need one or two motors for the X and X-prime. Let's turn to Valin’s Michael Reynaud and see if he can shed some light on this for us.

In this system’s configuration, we're utilizing two separate servo motors to drive the X and X-prime axes. This is since they are so far apart. If the X and X-prime axes were closer together, we could utilize one single servo motor with a linkage shaft between them to drive both axes. We need to do this so that the axes will move synchronously to keep the system from mechanically binding. Imagine having a large motor on the end of this actuator and a linkage shaft that acts as a coupler. This is to drive both axes.

Thank you, Michael, for that explanation. It's less expensive to use a drive shaft and it's simpler. You only must worry about controlling one motor. When you must use two motors, you have to worry about synchronizing the motors with a function, Gantry Lock, Following, Gearing or something like that from the controller. This is in order to make sure that those motors always start and stop together. Then you get into error recovery and stuff like that when you have two motors. When those X and X-prime axes are too far apart, then you need to have the two motors.

I'm Corey Foster at Valin Corporation. I hope this helps.

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