If you run a robotics company or work in an industry that uses automated manufacturing or CNC machinery, chances are you work with machines that run on servo motors. While these types of devices have been instrumental in automating production which was previously done manually, they are not without their shortcomings. Servo motors can be somewhat sensitive and be put out of commission by a variety of outside factors that operators might not be aware of. Let’s take a look at five common reasons why servo motors tend to fail.
1. Excessive Moisture Buildup
One rule of law you can always count on is that water and machinery do not get along. When too much moisture builds up in your servo motor, you can almost always expect it to start performing below par. Moisture will also rust the inside of the motor over time if not regularly wiped away and dried. Closed-body motors are most vulnerable to excessive moisture and can be protected from it by using fans and heaters to dry out the motor while it is offline. Another way to avoid moisture buildup is to not over lubricate your motor as sometimes excess lube can fly off into other parts of the motors. Make sure to regulate the temperature and humidity wherever your servo motor is located and keep it far away from any flood zones as well.
While water might be a motor’s worst enemy, excess heat is a close second. If your servo motor overheats, it can cause a drastic reduction in its lifespan. While the symptoms of overheating might not present themselves after the very first overheat, each recurrent episode is compounding the damage done to your servo motor. The most obvious way to prevent overheating is to keep track of the temperature of your workspace. Another thing to watch out for is if the machines surrounding your servo motor are giving off heat that is contributing to a temperature increase in it. Also, take care to remove any blockages within the servo motor as these tend to cause overheating as well.
If there is vibration happening within your servo motor, this can cause damage to it. Foreign materials like dirt and other things, as well as loose parts, can cause vibration and even misaligned parts. Make sure all the parts within your motor are properly aligned and free from debris to avoid vibration damage.
4. Electrical Problems
An electrical surge or an over-current caused by a lightning strike or something else can easily cause your servo motor to fail. Other sources of power surges include power spikes from your power company and faults from any machines that are connected to your servo motor. To prevent electrical failure, make sure your servo motor is surge protected and don’t push it past its capabilities.
Dirt buildup in your servo motor can have similar effects to excess moisture and overheating. Dirt can contribute to the breaking down of the motor parts over time and can also cause blockages that lead to overheating. Make sure to inspect your servo motor on the regular for dirt buildup if possible.
Servo motors are widely used throughout many industries. These machines are vulnerable to a number of outside agents that can lead to their failure, and it’s important to know how to prevent this. Avoid these five things, and your motor will stay running smoothly.