Because the sun gear in a hybrid unit is pre-aligned within the gearhead and not affixed to the motor shaft, these gearheads can be used in contouring applications such as a glue-dispensing nozzle for affixing a windshield to an automobile. Motion of the nozzle since it follows the seam between a windshield and its window frame must be perfectly smooth; or else a ripple in velocity alters the bead diameter and causes messy glue software.
Smooth motion, which means the lack of torque and velocity variations (ripple), is important in contouring applications. But, it really is difficult to consistently achieve smooth movement where the sun gear is installed on the engine shaft. A good slight servo gear reducer misalignment in sunlight gear (electric motor shaft runout or coupling inaccuracies) can cause rough operation and noise.
Many servo controllers use software compensation, and their success depends on knowing the lost movement of the entire system. This details is usually offered from the gearhead manufacturer.
Contouring applications usually involve end-effectors or tool-points that follow mathematically defined paths. Sealant and bonding devices, drinking water and flame cutters, laser beam welders and cutters, movement managed cameras, and CNC machine tools are good examples.
Software compensation is accomplished by commanding the motor to go beyond the apparently desired position by a quantity add up to the system’s lost motion, thereby bringing the load to the truly desired position. For example, look at a servomotor, gearhead, and leadscrew combination in a pick-andplace robot. If 100,000 encoder counts equals 1.0 in. of linear movement and the machine has 0.1-in. lost motion, then the controller tells the engine to move 110,000 encoder counts to get 1.0 in. of motion, therefore compensating for the 0.1-in. lost motion.
Backlash is the excess space between two adjacent gear teeth and its own engaging tooth; lost motion may be the total looseness or movement at a reducer’s result shaft when the input shaft is fixed. Dropped motion includes backlash, plus losses from bearing looseness, tolerances and fits, and shaft and equipment tooth compliance.
Servo controllers could be programmed to compensate for backlash and dropped movement in planetary gearheads. This system compensates for backlash even where an application requires accuracy much better than the minimal backlash of the gearhead.