Technological advances all seem to be moving in the same direction. Everyone wants hardware and devices to be smaller, cheaper, and more effective. Drives and motors aren’t any different. Smaller drives and motors aren’t bonuses anymore; they are essential. But as these drives and motors become more compact, the inner workings of the devices have to keep up as well. Not only do they need to squeeze down to smaller units, but they have to fit the required parts and components in as well. We like to condense as many items as we can into one machine, so each new update has to offer more than the previous one. The challenge is keeping things to a compact size and at an affordable price.
Communications and safety measures are major focuses of technology advances, along with improving efficiency through speed management and better energy use. Bulk for communications can be limited with integrated network communications, which also helps to simplify things. Streamlining things is a recent goal in manufacturing as well. With simplified hardware and machinery, along with clearer HMIs, processes are easier to maintain. This also helps to control pricing. Even in cases today where the sticker price is greater, the long-term costs appear to be decreasing.
Of course power and accuracy are still considerations, but with motors eating up most electricity used in production systems, newer devices are following suit with the rest of the world to better manage energy use. Again, manufacturers are seeing that this helps with costs.
But one of the main overarching trends in recent years seems to be size management. Producers want to get the most out of their floor space, which means condensing what they can. Most technology is shrinking, and motors and drives are no exception. With more economic use of space comes greater efficiency, greater cost management, and more highly functioning devices.
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