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Stepper Motors for Medical Applications

August 27, 2021

Stepper Motors Provide the Dynamic Performance Your Medical Application Requires

A stepper motor is an electromechanical device that converts electrical pulses into discrete mechanical movements and therefore can be operated directly from a pulse train generator or a microprocessor. Stepper motors can work in an open loop, the controller used to drive the motor can keep track of the number of steps executed and knows the mechanical position of the shaft. Stepper geared motor have very fine resolutions (< 0.1 degrees) allowing precise metering for pump applications and maintain a position without current because of their inherent detent torque. Excellent dynamic characteristics allow quick starts and stops.

Over the years Portescap has partnered with leading medical device manufacturers and in the process developed and optimized range of stepper motor and geared stepper motor solutions that can deliver optimum performance in the smallest size with a focus on quality, precision, reliability, and cost.

In some applications, an axis can require feedback at multiple positions over a full rotation to ensure absolute position is known and to confirm if a particular action is completed. Stepper motors have a distinct advantage in such applications because of the repeatability of shaft position in open loop. In addition, Portescap has developed precise and low-cost optical and magnetic feedback solutions with stepper and geared stepper motors to provide home position feedback that helps in defining start position after each complete rotation.

For battery driven applications that demand higher power density, finer resolution, and acceleration, Portescap disc magnet steppers can be the right choice due to their low inertia and short magnetic circuit with lower iron losses, delivering significantly higher acceleration and output speed. The disc magnet stepper motors are higher in efficiency than other stepper motors and can also be easily driven in micro stepping mode for better resolution and smooth motion profile without noise and vibration.

Brushless commutation, a high-quality bearing system and optimized gearing in stepper motors provide long life for critical lifesaving applications. The design and application engineering team at Portescap engages early with the customer to understand key application needs in terms of performance requirements, duty cycle, driving details, reliability, resolution, feedback expectations, and mechanical envelope available to design custom solutions. We understand that each device has a different design and will be having different needs for various mechanisms and a single solution cannot serve all the purpose. Customization to meet specific needs is the key to address application-specific needs.

Want to speak with an engineer about our various stepper motor options? Contact Us today.