Does My Servo Drive Need Repair Service?
Servo Drives Serve You in Many Ways
Servo drives are essential for keeping lots of commercial and industrial equipment applications humming along to keep your business in full productivity mode. A servo system can include several components, but the two most prominent are the servo drive and the servo motor. The servo drive receives incoming command signals, and then the servo motor generates the physical force needed to get your equipment moving. Think of the servo drive as the nervous system connecting the controller with the servo motor. The drive receives command signals for position, speed, or torque requirements, and then adjusts the voltage and current to engage the servo motor properly. Without a properly functioning servo drive (also known as a servo amplifier), your servo motor is essentially rendered practically useless. So, what do you do when you suspect that your servo system may be under performing?
Indicators of Servo Drive Problems
So, how do you know whether there may be a problem with your servo drive? Here are a few key things you’ll want to pay attention to:
Servos can overheat for many reasons, including ambient air temperature changes, extended operating times, poor ventilation, and age. As internal components begin to wear out, an older machine can tend to overheat more often.
Servo motor won’t turn
Sometimes this could be a physical problem with your servo motor, but the issue could also be with the servo drive itself. You can run a self-test where the drive tells the motor to operate at a low efficiency so you can verify it’s responding properly. If the motor still won’t turn, then the problem is likely with the servo drive.
Servo drives and servo motors generally make a humming or whirring noise when operating, this is normal. But if you notice the servo to be making more noise than usual or getting significantly louder, there could very well be an electrical or wiring problem with the servo drive.
Reduction in torque produced
Servo motors are engineered to generate a constant amount of torque within a defined range. If your motor is no longer generating proper torque, it could be a power supply issue, or it could also point to a problem with your servo amplifier.
Presence of smoke or funny odors
If your servo is putting off a strong odor, chances are very good that something is burning, burning out, or overheating. This could indicate a problem with your unit’s ventilation or cooling system, and can also occur as a result of issues with the bearings, windings, wiring, or amount of lubrication.
Abnormal servo shutdowns
If your servo starts up fine, but then shuts off after reaching full speed, there’s a serious malfunction with either the servo drive, the servo motor, or both. There are many potential causes for this, and some of them can be hard to diagnose. Your best option at this point is to entrust a professional like AES to check everything out and provide needed servo drive repair or servo motor maintenance.
Other Problems and Issues Which Can Lead to Servo Drive Failure
Servo systems are generally very reliable and efficient closed-loop systems. At the same time, a problem with any individual components can result in a breakdown of the whole servo drive system. Here are some issues we typically see when servicing and repairing servo drives at AES:
Oscilloscope seems to read as all noise
In many cases, this just means that the current monitoring output hasn’t been properly isolated from the AC power supply or transformer.
Servo motor runs faster in one direction than in the other
This could point to a phase error with the motor itself. The deviation potentiometer could also be in a wrong position. It’s also possible that the test/deviation switch could be toggled to the wrong setting.
Servo motor stalls or sputters
This could be a polarity error with the speed feedback. Depending upon the particulars of your unit, there are various ways to address this. It’s also possible that encoder power could be lost due to power feedback issues. If this is the case, a power supply check can usually help identify the problem.
LEDs are green, but the servo motor isn’t moving
Assuming there’s not a problem with the motor itself, there may need to be some troubleshooting with the INHIBIT ports. It’s also possible that the command signal just isn’t properly connected to the servo drive signal.
Internal short circuits or circuit board problems
Most all types of industrial electronic equipment depend upon printed circuit boards to operate, and eventually any PCB can fail. This is a potential source of problems for servo drives and servo amplifiers, too. Necessary PCB service could include replacement of resistors, capacitors, & diodes, and may also require gold finger contact and trace repair services.
Servo Drive Repair with AES
Sometimes servo repair may just mean correcting an issue with the servo drive specifically. In other cases, the entire controller-drive-motor-feedback system could need troubleshooting and servicing. But unless you’re trained and experienced in working on servos, your best bet is to entrust servo drive repair to a trained professional. No matter what’s going on with your servo drive or servo system, AES has you covered!
There are a number of companies who advertise servo drive services, but servo repair is truly one of our specialties at AES. No other repair provider is more thorough than we are, and that’s one of many reasons why AES has so many repeat customers and clients. We do the job right for you the first time, and every time. We offer some fast turnaround times, too. And if that isn’t enough, AES also backs our repair work with an industry-leading workmanship warranty!
Connect with AES for Your Servo Drive Service Needs
Ready to get your servo drive backup and running, so your servo-driven equipment can continue to put in the work you need and demand? Reach out by giving us a call at (866) 386-1001 today, and let AES provide you with your perfect servo repair solution! We’re here to help!