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Develop a controller on your own?

At maxon motor, we often hear experienced engineers’ talk of developing their own controller for their application, as it’s perceived as being an easy thing to do and, therefore, a cheaper option. But is it?

Often the entire cost of developing a motor controller is not realized, customers tend to be attracted by the initially cheap overheads of buying the separate components and making a customized drive, in comparison to the seemingly expensive off-the-shelf solution motor-controller. If you have a closer look, you will realize that an off-the-shelf solution offers a lot of hidden  “built-in” advantages.

Long-term experience

Application notes of electronic components (esp. power stage drivers) seem to offer a simple solution. Very often this is just part of the truth because in-depth design experience is required to get a full solution taking care of all requirements of an application and finally resulting in an industry-proven reliable solution. maxon engineers can profit by more than 25 years of experience in controller and power stage design to get straightaway to a complete solution. More than 1.500.000 controllers out in the field stand for a high level of industrialization and reliability of catalog products and customized solutions.

  • maxon’s design  experience = Base of hitting the requirements at a first run

Extreme compact size

A power stage design not just requires driver chip sets but also a lot of peripheral components, e.g. for current measurement,  interfacing, DC/DC supply and so on. Most of the maxon controllers are based on the maxon ASIC which typically replaces 50 -100 external components of a standard design.

  • maxon ASIC = Base of achieving a high level of miniaturization and low costs for components and assembly.

Obsolescence management

Even if a design seems to be finished and established quite well, there is always the challenge that components are coming to the “end of life” state and being out of production by the manufacturer. You have to watch the component market carefully and react soon to this challenge. Very often this means finding a replacement and verifying this new component even if it seems to offer same technical data and pin-out based on the data sheet. Finally this ends up in hidden costs for an on-going development, verification, and the adaptation of production and test equipment. maxon engineers permanently take care of that. There is a professional obsolescence management established at maxon.

  • maxon’s professional obsolescence management = Base for getting the product right in time with same technical data over the full life-time cycle.

Permanent controller development

We are taking care of new control designs and components permanently and bringing these into industrialized new products. This ensures that all maxon controllers offer a high level of features and suitability for daily use. But this also ensures that the development of new product lines and features are an on-going process not just focused on a single short-term demand. There is a broad team of control, hardware, and software engineers at maxon involved in his permanently.

  • On-going product development = Base for being ready in time by new solutions.

Quality control & responsibility

maxon can take full responsibility and fulfill highest quality standards for combined solution of motors, gear boxes, encoders, and controllers.

  • maxon is a full product & system provider = Base for taking responsibility

Safe bet:

The maxon EPOS4 Modules and ESCON Modules are a perfect trade-off. You do not have to take care about motion control and power stage design but you can easily plug these extreme compact modules into the base electronics board designed by you adapting to additional application requirements or special standards. Finally this results in sharing competence and responsibility to get the best and fastest result for your final product.

Author: Juergen Wagenbach

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