Monthly Archives: February 2016

Ideally Suited Stepper Motors for UHV Applications

The ability to conduct precision research with experimental systems has advanced considerably since the introduction of vacuum technology.

Now with the use of ultra high vacuum (UHV) technology, extremely low pressure environments can be created to remove interference from gas scattering and enable surfaces to be atomically cleaned; allowing for preparation of studies in a completely contamination-free state.

However with such a demanding and sensitive environment it is vital that any mechanical equipment used be suitable enough to withstand extreme conditions, from plummeting pressures to temperatures ranging from -190°C to 200°C.

It’s true that not many mechanical components can claim to operate effectively under such extreme conditions, however the Ultra High Vacuum Stepper Motor is ideally suited for precision motor control inside UHV environments.

A Deeper Look into UHV Stepper Motor Design

UHV stepper motors such as manufactured by Arun Microelectronics Ltd, Nanotec® and supplied by All Drives and Controls are specifically designed for use in UHV environments such as cryogenics, space and nuclear industry.

The design of the UHV stepper motor allows it to endure hours of ‘baking’ in temperatures up to 200°C for the removal of water and trace gases for complete decontamination.

Then with the UHV stepper motor’s optimised construction and vacuum-compatible materials, it is able to operate in temperatures ranging from -196°C to +175°C, performing sensitive handling manipulations with precision without the use of motion feed through.

The minimal components of the UHV stepper motor and the absence of metal to metal sliding surfaces means that formation of any particles is minimised, this benefit, including its low out-gassing design characteristics make it a valuable device for ultra high vacuum environments.

Aside from its robust construction, the UHV stepper motor provides peace of mind with additional capabilities including:

  • An embedded thermocouple for temperature monitoring and control
  • Open construction with all internal spaces vented
  • Radiation-hardened versions
  • Custom shaft modified versions
  • A dedicated drive
  • Simplified connections
  • Torque ratings from 75 to 200 mNm
  • Suitable for use below 1×10-10mbar

With the ability to provide precision in-vacuum manipulation under intense UHV conditions, it’s no surprise that the UHV stepper motor was chosen for use on the Mars Rover.  

Designed to withstand intense heat and vibrations from launch to the ultra-cold, high-vacuum exposure on its interplanetary cruise to Mars, the use of a UHV stepper motor on the Mars Rover made an ideal solution for the robotic application that operates with such precision it can drop an aspirin tablet into a thimble.*

So it’s easy to see what makes the UHV stepper motor an ideal choice for ultra high vacuum environments.

With a range of sizing options and torque ratings available, All Drives and Controls is on hand to provide specialist advice on the most effective UHV stepper motor for your application; leaving you to focus on the more pressing matter of making scientific and technological advances.

All Drives and Controls: Driving to the Future

01827 52189



Drive Efficiency with the Correct AC or DC Motor

Often hidden away, but still a major player in your motion control application, AC and DC drives are absolutely necessary for smooth speed-controlled operations.

However, selecting an appropriate variable speed control AC or DC motor involves more than just the need for simple process control; it involves consideration as to the most effective motor for your application and load demands as even the smallest change can significantly impact on efficiency and energy consumption.

If your application operates with various speeds for different processes, requires acceleration control or has altering rates of production or flow such as with conveyors, processing, HVAC, mixers, millers, elevators and hoists then your choice of variable speed AC / DC motor drives can make all the difference.

Selecting the appropriate drive (although only a small device in the overall mechanical function) can bring significant benefits including:

  • Increased efficiency due to smoother, trouble-free operations
  • Reduced energy consumption and costs from only using the right amount of power to match load demands
  • High precision for stopping and starting processes with smooth acceleration control to prevent mechanical shock, wear and tear.
  • Time saving motors that are simple to install and operate with no programming
  • Protection of your product from adjustable torque limits
  • The elimination of expensive components such as gearboxes

KB Electronic Motor Drives; the Right Choice for You?

The benefits variable speed control motors bring can easily be obtained when purchasing high quality, custom-designed AC / DC motor drives such as manufactured by industry leader KB Electronics and supplied by UK automation component specialist distributors, All Drives and Controls2.

However deciding which variable speed drive is right for your application from the range of hybrid AC drives and variable speed DC motor controls offered can be confusing.

For example, you may be aware that AC drives require less maintenance than DC drives, tend to cost less, are smaller and work better in high speed operations; on the other hand DC drives can be quieter, provide accelerating torques in excess of 400% and perform better with frequent acceleration and deceleration routines.

KB Electronics also produce a range of drive options including:

AC Drives: 3ph AC Induction motors from 1/8 through 5 horsepower or available in 15, 208/230, and 400/460 VAC – 50/60 Hz with 1ph and 3ph input.

DC Drives: from sub-fractional to 5 horsepower. They are also available in 115 and 208/230 VAC-50/60 Hz with 1Ø input.

So the question you may be asking is; ‘which variable speed control drive will provide your system with the most efficient output and the most reliable and durable process of operation?’

Identifying the Right AC / DC Drive for Your Application

Thankfully you can easily secure the answer by contacting All Drives and Controls who are trained and experienced in providing specialist advice on the most appropriate, cost effective solution for your application requirements.

As a trusted distributor for KB Electronics motor drives, All Drives and Controls are able to quickly identify and dispatch your required drive quickly and conveniently as well as offer bespoke training for set-up of your new AC or DC motor drive.

So don’t miss out on the advantages of choosing a reliable variable speed drive motor system– contact All Drives and Controls today.