The class of motors known as “smart” motors continue to see a steady increase in use in many industrial applications. A smart motor is essentially a motor that integrates a number of other components together into one physical unit. Common configurations include a motor and drive, but can also consist of integrated encoders and controllers as well as cabling and communication ports.
Aside from the increased processing power and control options that such motors make available, their other powerful feature is the improved connectivity options they offer to designers of complex industrial machinery and motion control systems.
The concept of the “smart” motor goes hand in hand with connectivity. In fact, that’s largely what qualifies a motor as having intelligence; the ability to communicate with other motors and control-system components as well as having some amount of control functionality on-board. This is what makes smart motors with their improved connectivity options central to the IoT and industrial IoT (IIoT).