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Understanding the Differences Between Servo and VFD Motor Cables

For a machine to do its job effectively, you must choose the motor that best meets your needs. Oftentimes, that means having to choose between the precise positioning provided by servo motors or the power delivery capabilities of VFD motors. Once you’ve made your choice, you'll need the right cable to transmit power or signals between your motor and control components.

To help you make your selection, here’s an overview of servo and VFD motors, along with the cable options that can help you build a robust motion control system.

Servo Motors Ensure Precision and Repeatability

Servo motors are desirable wherever precise positioning and repeatability are required. They're also suitable for any application where the motor's speed needs to be varied and the precise position of the motor shaft must be known and controlled at all times. For example, in a bottling application, the bottle needs to be directly under the nozzle to be filled, then capped and labeled. If the bottle isn't precisely positioned, the process can’t continue.

SAB servo motor cables come in combinations of power, signal, feedback and control configurations for use in continuous flex and static applications. Also, our insulating materials are designed to provide optimal performance for precise movements. These cables are ideal for applications like cable tracks, handling equipment, pick-and-place units, gantry robots, machine tools, CNC machinery and more.

Examples include:

  • Feedback cables that carry signals between position sensors of servo motors and their control systems to control motor speed or give feedback values: SL 842 C.
  • Transmission cables that transmit control pulses for positioning and procedure characteristics: SL 839 C and SL 843 C.
  • Motor connection cables like SL 860 C, SL 833 C and SL 834 C.
  • Combined motor connection cables, which supply power to the motor. Depending on the construction type, power and control conductors are possible: SL 863 C, SL 841 C and SL 871 C. Also available is an all-in-one cable solution with integrated elements for digital signal feedback: SL 875 C.
  • Motor connection cables for frequency converters — SL 833 C and SL 834 C — as well as for resolvers and shaft encoders: SL 842 C, SL 839 C and SL 843 C.

You can view our full servo cable lineup, along with our selection guide at the following links:

VFD Motors Deliver the Power

VFD motors rely on variable frequency drives to deliver the power to start and stop or to accelerate and decelerate. You can use them in applications where you need to control the motor’s speed and accuracy is less important. Because the VFDs adjust a motor’s speed to meet the demands of the application, they operate more efficiently and use less energy than other types of motors.

At SAB North America, we offer a well-stocked line of UL and CSA-listed VFD cables for use in paper mills, cement plants, mining controls, automotive plants, steel mills and HVAC applications. Our VFD cables are designed with XLPE insulation for optimal capacitance performance, and they also conform to NFPA 79. We can provide one ground or symmetrical ground options, power only or power with one or two pairs. Continuous flex options and 2-kV for larger motors are also available.

To find the VFD cable that best fits your application, check out our VFD cable line and access our VFD Cable Selection Guide.

Match the Right Cable to Your Application

To achieve a high-performing motion system, it’s important to give just as much consideration to your cable selection as your motor selection. Not only do we offer a broad range of servo and VFD motor cables, we also stand ready to work with you to match the right cable to your application.

For more information about our servo and VFD motor cables, visit www.sabcable.com.

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