Servo Drive System vs. Variable Frequency Drive

A servo drive system, as opposed to a variable frequency drive (VFD) or AC motor drive (AMD), has the ability to position with extreme precision and repeatability. While a VFD or AMD can be configured for position control, it cannot attain the exactness of a servo drive. VFDs and AMDs are also available in much higher horsepower ranges than servo's. Selection of external feedback sensors such as encoders, resolvers, linear position sensors, etc., required to achieve closed-loop control and each having its own inherent precision, will enable the system accuracy accordingly. Your application requirements will always dictate which system configuration will give you the best results!

Many of today's VFDs are fully capable of doing positioning when using encoder feedback; as with many other things, the lines have become blurred. What separates servo motor from induction motors is their low inertia and their ability to accelerate and decelerate much faster, the trick is to decide when you need full servo performance.
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