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World’s smallest servodrives get even smaller

03 February, 2023

Just months after claiming to have set a new world record for the smallest servodrive, the Spanish developer Ingenia has produced an even smaller device – a 250W drive that measures 33 x 17.6 x 6mm, and weighs just a mere 6 grammes. The new Denali drives are aimed at applications such as robots, industrial grippers and lab automation systems.

The new drives are being produced in two versions:
• the miniature, ready-to-use Denali XCR, designed for quick installation and system commissioning; and
• the high-power-density, pluggable Denali Net version designed for use as a carrier board in single- or multi-axis applications. It is slightly larger and weighs 14g.

Both versions are available with EtherCat and CANopen communication protocols, optimised for demanding multi-axis applications. They support EtherCat with a bus latency down to 1 cycle, improving the cost-effectiveness of embedding multiple axes in a single PCB.

The drives have a minimum standby power consumption of down to 1.2W (with an efficiency of up to 99%). They offer dual-loop support for high precision and stability, and fast servo loops for smooth operation. Current loops operate at 50kHz, with position and velocity loops operating at 25kHz. The drives can provide PWM frequencies up to 150kHz for low-inductance motors. The single PCB design supports distributed, centralised multi-axis configurations.

There are versions that provide multiple safety functions for high-performance applications where safety is paramount. STO inputs (to SIL-3 and PLe) are built in, while additional safety functions (SBC, FSoE, SS1, SS2, SOS, SLA, SAR, SLS, SLT) can be provided by an add-on board.

“Robotics is a very competitive market, evolving rapidly and requiring best-in-class servodrive technology,” says Marc Vila, business director for servodrives at Celera Motion, which acquired Ingenia in 2019. “Application-focused servodrives like Denali – where we have included features specifically required for the advanced robotic market segment – dramatically help engineers to accelerate their designs, be more competitive and keep the focus on their core business.”

The Denali drives are the latest version of Ingenia’s Summit series of servodrives. Last year, it announced a 3kW servodrive in its Everest series that weighs just 18 grammes and was said at the time to be the world’s smallest and fastest.

The tiny Denali servodrives are designed for use in surgical robots, end-effectors, haptic devices, small joints and other robotics applications.

Sample prices for the pluggable Denali Net servodrive are €361 while the panel-mounting XCR versions cost €494.

US-based Celera Motion, which supplies motion control components and sub-systems, is itself owned by Novanta, which offers photonics, vision and precision motion technologies to OEMs in the medical and advanced industrial technology markets. In 2021, Novanta bought US-based Schneider Electric Motion for $115m and renamed it Novanta IMS.

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