Vector control has allowed AC technology, long considered industry's workhorse, to enter control applications in an unprecedented manner. Advances in digital technology have helped push vector control drives to the point where they have started becoming a credible alternative to servo technology, in less demanding, more cost-sensitive applications.
DC servo technology has been a traditional choice in many control applications – its performance, responsiveness and the degree of controllability it offers have largely helped it hold sway in this sector. Servo technology can often be expensive and often provides a level of performance that is above what some applications require. Vector control technology now gives users an alternative by enabling AC technology to a degree that allows its use in many control applications; it brings cost-effective, affordable control technology into play.
Frost & Sullivan finds that vector control technology has improved in its capabilities to the point where it allows relatively inexpensive AC technology to offer optimal performance in many control applications.
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“A lack of awareness of vector control technology's capabilities and status and the nature of the performance it can offer for a given cost, can act as a restraint on the adoption of new technologies,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Rahul Nayar. “It has been noted that some end users are perhaps slow to see the potential uses of AC induction motors, coupled with vector drives, as a viable control technology.”
Servo technology is often the first choice that is considered in control applications, even by those who do not necessarily need the advanced levels of performance offered by servo technology, and who cannot necessarily afford its cost. Vector control, which has now reached the stage where it does offer a credible alternative, still has some way to go in terms of penetrating industry consciousness.
“An increased effort to explain and communicate vector control technology’s emerging capabilities to the market will help overcome this barrier,” says Nayar.
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Advances in Vector Control Technology