Stepper Motors for Beverage Dispensing Equipment

A stepper motor is an electric motor that rotates through many small steps. The shaft is pulled around each step electromagnetically by a step controller. This type of motor uses the controller to convert electricity into mechanical energy by sending electrical pulses to energize permanent magnets in the motor causing the rotor to move one "step" for each pulse. Precision stepper motors control a variety of piston pumps in programmable beverage dispensing systems in both fixed and adjustable displacement configurations. These systems can be configured to control either one or two pump heads; with two pump heads, each pump can be controlled independently for dual proportional dispensing or synchronized to produce a smooth flow. NMB's customizable stepper motors for beverage dispensing equipment include hybrid, permanent magnet, hybrid linear and hybrid gear boxes. These types of motors all offer integrated customizable electronics for ease of application development, systems reduction, and project proofing. While all stepper motors for beverage dispensing equipment can do similar jobs, there are differences in their performance. Permanent magnet and hybrid stepper motors are the two most commonly used stepper motors for beverage dispensing equipment.

Permanent Magnet (PM) Steppers

A permanent magnet produces its own continuous magnetic field; it remains magnetized and therefore will always exert a force on other objects. A permanent magnet (or PM) motor, sometimes called a "tin can" motor, uses magnets that are powered by electricity to progress along each step determined by the electrical pulses transmitted by its controller. This takes the place of the "teeth" motion of earlier variable resistance steppers and, as a result, is more efficient and accurate. This type of stepper motor has an advantage in that it has very low inertia so the magnetic flow path is optimized. A permanent magnet motor is reliable, efficient, and long-lasting. However, if the PM motor cannot provide the performance the job requires, a hybrid stepper motor might be necessary.

Hybrid Steppers

The hybrid stepper combines the teeth action of the VR with the electromagnetic action of the PM, resulting in increased functionality and accuracy. These stepper motors are the best option for those jobs requiring maximum performance. This type of motor provides a combination of the best features of the PM and VR types of stepper motors; as a hybrid of the two motors, the hybrid stepper motor for beverage dispensing equipment can generate a lot of power in spite of its small size. It also provides excellent performance in torque, speed, and step resolution.

While permanent magnet stepper motors are a cost-effective alternative to hybrid stepper motors for beverage dispensing equipment, hybrid steppers offer more accuracy and torque. In other words, the stepper you choose depends entirely on your needs. Regardless, one of the advantages of both types of NMB stepper motors for beverage dispensing equipment is their ability to position very accurately, which results in more consistent repetition of movement. Additionally, NMB stepper motors demonstrate superior responsiveness when starting, stopping, and reversing steps in the beverage dispensing process.

You can start to learn more by taking a look at NMB's standard step motors available at our authorized distributors.