Before you can understand how automation can help out in production, it is essential to have a grasp of electromechanical drive solutions. The item Academy can impart this basic know-how in a way that beginners will find easy to follow.
Whether you’re talking conveying technology or linear technology, if you know the basics of drive technology, you can assess the relevant components and functions and therefore get a much better understanding of automation solutions. So where should you go when you want to find out more about the relevant details? There seem to be plenty of options, but most are either far away or pretty expensive. The item Academy is different. To access its comprehensive online introduction to drive technology, all you need is a free item user account. When logged in, you can access the training module on drive technology directly.
The basics about drive technology in the item Academy
How does a drive solution work? Find out about the various components and their differences in the item Academy’s free online training module – the ideal way to get a better understanding of automation applications.
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Examples illustrating crucial aspects of drive technology
Often, a drive solution will consist of a motor, gearbox, encoder system, controller and coupling – all of which are covered in the item Academy. The motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. Choosing the right motor is all about selecting the most appropriate torque, speed and efficiency. The torque and speed generated by the motor can then be adapted to the task at hand by a gearbox. Meanwhile, encoder systems use sensors permanently fixed to the rotor shaft to provide a constant feed of information about the position of the rotor and the speed of the rotor shaft. The controller is responsible for regulating and controlling the drive solution, which it does by telling the motor how fast to run and how much force to transmit to the drive. The coupling connects the drive solution to the application that incorporates the mechanical system being driven.
To really see the bigger picture, you need a firm grasp of the finer details. That is why our training in the basics of drive technology takes a detailed look at the technical background. For instance, if you want to understand how electric motors work, you absolutely have to get to grips with the following topics:
- How an electromagnet works
- Reversing electromagnet polarity
Although identical poles repel each other, opposites attract. It is the kind of thing we learn at school, but it’s important to refresh that knowledge on a regular basis. Here’s how an electromagnet works: An insulated wire is wound into a coil around a non-magnetic iron core. As soon as this wire is connected to a power source (such as a battery), the electric current flow creates a magnetic field. Changing the direction of flow of the electrical current reverses the alignment of the poles (north and south) on the electromagnet. Changing polarity enables you to attract or repel specific opposing magnets. It is important to be aware of this process in order to understand two components that you will find in all electric motors – the rotor and stator.
Getting to know the basics of drive technology online
The theory behind the basics of drive technology is much easier to grasp when it is presented in a carefully conceived and interactive way. In the item Academy training module, for example, the section on electric motors includes exercises where learners click their mouse to complete a circuit, reverse polarity or start a rotor turning. Special quiz questions and interactive exercises at regular intervals, whether about matching up gearbox properties or selecting the appropriate encoder system, provide extra motivation and help learners track their progress. All this combines to provide a fun and engaging way for learners to explore the properties of the components and how they differ from each other. Naturally, all the content comes from our own experts and, as an experienced solutions provider, item is only too happy to share its expertise. Take a look for yourself and try out this learning content and the other free training modules available in the item Academy.
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