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Control and servo drives from a single source

What is the importance of product couplings for the machine-builder purchasing servo convertors and servo motor, other drive components such as frequency convertors and above all the control? We pick out one point concerning the product coupling between servo drives and control.

The role of control and servo drives from a single source

March 1st, 2010 - The investigated machine-builders prefer referring 2010 a third of their servo potential from a supplier that also provides control technology - thus servo drives and control technology from a single source.


That is the product coupling with the second-strongest servo potential compared with further product couplings.


The importance of this product coupling is, evident however, its portion was about 2006. So by 2010 this portion will decrease relatively while the absolute potential of the associated servo drives will rise.

Control and servos from one single source in the German machinery industry 2010.
Source: Market survey by Quest TechnoMarketing in the German mechanical engineering industry.

The reasons for this coupling

There are several important reasons for the machine-builders. Two of them we pick, i.e.

  • with high-end application of servo drives also the control must come from a single source
  • uniformity and standardised programming of servo drive and control system.

Servo drives for high-end applications

A machine-builder of rubber and plastics machines specifies:

  • „The consistent modularity of the machines requires that the functions for motion control are integrated and centralised in the PLC. Therefore it is important to buy control technology and servo convertor from a single source. This is, however, the only coupling.“ (Rubber/plastics machines)


A manufacturer of food processing machines states:

  • „One wants to have a main supplier, being versed “in control and drive technology”, whose development environment integrates control technology, drive technology and cam discs and visualisation. One wants to download the total automation software in one package and to connect all variables with each others for a project.“ (Food processing machines)

Integration instead distributed control intelligence

A machine-builder used servo drives with integrated control intelligence during a longer period. Based on these experiences the change for the integration of control system and servo drives is precisely stated.

  • „The most important change will be the substitution of the servo drives with servo PLC included the machine PLC by an integrated solution of control system and motion control with adjusted servo drives. Thereby the crucial point is that control and servo technique will provide a “unified structure”, omitting different hardware interfaces, consisting of “a single hardware platform”, and thus setting up one system for the complete machine. That will make the maintenance of the many different versions easier in the future. Further benefits will be “a single surface” and “better transparency upward and downward” (from the control system to the drive and in reverse)“. (Printing/paper handling machines)


The survey of Quest TechnoMarketing provides further details about product couplings and the supplier policy of the machine-builders regarding the servo drive technology with the title „The future of the servo application in the German machinery industry until 2010“.

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