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7 Steps to Servicing a Servo Motor Without Compromising Encoder Alignment

7 Steps to Servicing a Servo Motor Without Compromising Encoder Alignment

Servicing your servo motor is essential to ensuring its optimal performance and prolonging its lifespan. However, care should be taken during disassembly, servicing, and reassembly to avoid misalignment of the feedback device.

Encoders, resolvers, and Hall effect sensors provide feedback on the motor’s position, ensuring accurate motion control. And any alignment issues can lead to costly performance, accuracy, and reliability issues. Read this blog to learn more: Encoder Alignment isn’t Important – It’s Critical.

Here are 7 steps to take when servicing your servo motor to help keep feedback alignment intact:

1. Document Existing Encoder Feedback Alignment

Prior to disassembly, document the current feedback alignment. Record two separate alignments (+U-V and +U-W). Carefully note its position using the angles displayed in Athena and note the physical orientation relative to the motor shaft. This information will serve as a reference guide when the motor is reassembled.

Read: Servo Motor Encoder Repair to Avoid Silence

2. Use the Proper Servo Motor Tools and Techniques

There are specialized tools designed for servicing servo motors. These tools minimize the risk of damaging the feedback device during removal. Using inappropriate tools introduces a risk of damage.

Servo Motor Guide

3. Use Proper Techniques

During disassembly avoid applying excessive force that could damage components or disturb feedback alignment before it has been recorded. This also applies to reassembly.

4. Handle Components Carefully

Handle all components with care during servicing. Avoid unnecessary movements or impacts that could jar the servo motor and alter the position of the feedback relative to the motor shaft before the alignment has been recorded.

5. Have a Dedicated Workplace

Cleanliness is important. Keep the work environment clean to prevent debris or contaminants from entering the servo motor during servicing. Even small particles can disrupt feedback operation or cause damage to sensitive components.

6. Verify Alignment During Reassembly

Using the documentation created earlier as a reference, verify the alignment of the feedback sensor with respect to the motor shaft. Before closing the servo motor casing make any necessary adjustments to ensure proper alignment.

7. Servo Motor Testing and Calibration

After reassembly, conduct thorough testing and calibration procedures as recommended by the manufacturer. Again, there are tools that can help with this. Verify that the servo motor operates correctly and maintains accurate positioning without any compromise to feedback alignment.

Following these steps to help ensure that your servo motor’s feedback sensor will remain intact, and your motor will perform as expected. By paying close attention to feedback alignment throughout the servicing process, and using the right tools, you can maximize the performance of your servo motor throughout its anticipated lifecycle.

Essential Servo Motor Tools

At Mitchell Electronics, Inc. feedback testing is our business. And we provide unique feedback alignment products, personalized customer support, and training for our customers.

Our TI-5000JX product is used to test the feedback that is used in the servo motor. It confirms feedback status such as counting, error codes, and alignment angles. The TI-5000JX can also test and reprogram encoder memory if needed.

Our TI-3000JX is a run test product which acts as a universal servo motor drive providing a diagnostic test before or after a servo motor repair. Manufacturer specific servo motor drives can be excellent for verifying servo motors but can be difficult and time consuming to configure. It is also not always practical to have a spare servo motor drive for every servo motor that you wish to run. 

The TI-3000JX acts as a generic servo motor drive enabling configuration of an unloaded servo motor run test in a matter of minutes in a standardized way regardless of the servo motor manufacturer, allowing you to check if your servo motor is good, bad, or not working reliably.

You can also download The Quick Reference Guide to Servo Motor Maintenance and Repair. Inside this in-depth guide, you’ll find insights into:

  • Diagnosing common servo issues
  • Understanding common servo error codes
  • Knowing what you can fix in-house and what needs to be sent out for repair
  • Identifying tools you’ll need to make repairs in-house
  • Learning how to find the right repair shop for you

Servo Motor Guide