Changing Trends in Motion Control Drives and Motors

The motion control drives and motor sector has greatly evolved over the past decades. This evolution can be attributed to the changing technologies and IT industry. Most importantly, motion control drives have shifted from being analog based and have moved to digital based technology underpinnings.  Rather than depending on the actual electric current, drives can change their position and speed via digital signals.

In light of this, motion control drives and motor technology only gets smarter, more productive and capable of executing more tasking duties in any operation sector. For instance, motion control drives were initially used for a single purpose which was; directing currents to the motor as instructed by the motion controller. This is because, initial motion control drives featured minimal advanced functions like quality control, condition monitoring and planning. They relied on other operations components to execute such tasks. Fortunately, current motion control drives are more complex and feature advanced capabilities. Here are more upcoming motion control drives and motor trends.

Smaller but more powerful and capable motion control drives

Decreasing size in motion control drives has become a significant trend that is mainly motivated by the worldwide embrace of mobile applications. From mobile robots to recreational vehicles and drones, motion control drives must be powerful and compact enough to facilitate the required level of mobility. Note that, battery powered drives perform at high efficiencies to deliver strong speed levels and torque at low voltage. These designs are further supported by technological advances that rectify lag in torque to facilitate incredible RPMs in smaller battery powered motors. Current motion control drives are designed to execute more intelligent functions by relying on on-board processing power and memory to detect operation defects and notify an operator to rectify issues without causing delays.

Frameless and customized motors for higher performance levels

End users of these motion control motors are increasingly demanding better OEE (operational equipment effectiveness) and throughput. As a result, motion control motor manufacturers are under pressure to manufacture higher performing motors. This has triggered most motor manufacturers to use magnet materials and windings that alter flux paths for higher performances especially in compact spaces while satisfying the demand for customized motion control motors that offer a competitive advantage over competition. Moreover, the motors are being designed in frameless forms to ensure flexible integration with other designs.

Other trends in drives and motors

As motion control drives increase in variety and number, they are become more capable to trigger productivity improvements. For instance, smart motion control drives can predict where and where maintenance is required before the motor breaks down. This helps in maintaining high uptime levels as well as extending an equipment’s lifetime. Additionally, smart motion control drives are capable of monitoring successful production tasks, gather dwell times, velocity and other key metrics data that can be used to ensure that future tasks are executed in the same way in a bid to maintain high quality production levels.


As technologies evolve and industrial needs change, motion control drives and motors designs are changing to accommodate different complex functions and support higher production levels in industrial and factory settings.