Precise Motion With New Servos and Drive Units From Oriental Motor

April 02, 2024 by Shawn Dietrich

Oriental Motor recently released the new AZX series of servo motors and drives, designed to deliver higher speeds and torque than the previous product line.

A servo motor is often the go-to choice in automation to provide precise positioning when paired with a linear actuator, as with CNC axes, or to provide precise rotational speed with high torque for spindles and other applications that demand tight tolerances for speed and motion.

For over a century, Oriental Motor has been manufacturing and designing motion control components, including motors, actuators, and drives. Recently, the servo motor product catalog has been expanded with the new AZX series, promising higher speeds than the previous AZ series.


New servo motors from Oriental

The new AZX servo motors include 400 and 600 watt versions. Image used courtesy of Oriental Motor


AZX Servo Motor Series

The new AZX series servo motor is a round shaft motor with an integrated, battery-free, absolute encoder. No external sensors are required to achieve precise positioning, and all of the motors in the series can reach 5,500 RPM. The AZX series is built with similar functionalities as the AZ series, while the new AZX family promises a higher max speed and higher torque capabilities.

The AZX series offers two versions, a 400 W (~½ HP) and a 600 W (~⅘ HP), with both versions allowing an optional electromechanical brake installation.

The drive systems have integrated protective and monitoring functions and utilize either EtherNet/IP or EtherCAT for Fieldbus communications. The drive can be wired for single-phase or three-phase 200-240 VAC. Both versions of the AZX drives can operate either version of the AZX motors, only the Fieldbus communication differs in each drive version. The drive can be configured using the free MEXE02 software, and the operation is the same as the AZ series drives making the AZX series a quick upgrade or replacement.


Servo drive unit

Servo motor drive unit. Image used courtesy of Oriental Motor


Batteryless Absolute Encoder

An encoder is a common sensor feedback sensor mounted on servo motors, providing information to the control system to calculate how far the motor shaft has rotated from the ‘zero’ position.

Within the controller, the rotations can be scaled into many different engineering units; rotation, speed, linear distance in inches, mm, etc. If the motor is attached to a linear actuator, the rotational motion is converted into a linear motion using ball screws or belts, and the control system can scale the rotational position of the actuator into any length measurement.

The AZX series motor features a battery-free mechanical type absolute encoder, meaning the position of the motor shaft is maintained even after power is removed from the motor and drive system. With the encoder being of the absolute variety, the motor position is always known and maintained.


Batteryless encoder

The mechanical absolute encoder retains positional information in the event of a power loss. Image used courtesy of Oriental Motor


No Control System? No Problem

The AZX drive system has an internal controller that can be programmed using the free MEXE02 software. This program allows designers and engineers to develop basic sequence functions, including timers, linked operations, conditional branches, and loop counting.

With these functions, you can develop internal programs that will run independently or provide limited independent operation when combined with other control systems already installed. The MEXE02 software also has features such as I/O monitoring, waveform, and alarm monitoring. These tools are useful during startup commissioning or troubleshooting issues in the field.