EM Integrated

5 Ways to Customize Servo Motor Cables For Better Functionality, Safety, and Utility

Posted by David Bousfield on Jul 26, 2018 8:00:00 AM
When producing custom machinery or other types of specialty manufacturing equipment based on customer requirements, standard solutions won’t always work. The surrounding environment, the use of non-standard components, new applications, or variations on common automation devices can create difficulties, especially where servo-motor cables are concerned. When this happens, you don’t have to try to make due with standard servo-motor cables. There are many ways to customize your servo-motor cables to maximize the functionality, usability, and safety of your custom equipment.

The following are five servo motor cable assembly modifications that we’ve frequently conducted. These changes may help you find the perfect fit as well.

5 Ways to Customize Your Servo-Motor Cables

1. Length Variations

As the old saying goes, “copper wire was first created by two misers fighting over a penny.” This might have worked the first time, but your cables aren’t likely to stretch to meet your needs.

Trying to stretch a too-short cable across a facility floor or trying to squeeze equipment into the right space can damage the equipment and reduce performance. Additionally, cables that are too long must be coiled, creating workplace hazards and possibly inducing noise into a servo motion control system. Standard power or feedback cables offered by OEMS include 1.0, 3.0, 5.0, 10.0 etc.meters/feet, but sometimes this just isn’t the right fit.

With customized length, your servo motor cable assemblies to be fitted to your application and facility. When choosing to design in a non-standard length variation for these assemblies, it’s important to also lead times. Third party servo-motor cable manufacturers can give you nearly any length variation, and can also work within tight time frame to give you the cables you need with little or no downtime.

2. Angled Motor Plugs

customize servo cables 1Customize Servo Cables 2

Space availability and design requirements can result in mounting servo motors in “tight fits.” These situations can make it difficult to properly route cables, and can even damage the cables by exceeding bend radius specifications.

Instead of risking the integrity of your cables and your equipment, get your cables customized to suit the angle. By using a 90 degree or angled plug in place of the straight plug provided by the servo-motor control system manufacturer, you don’t have to try and make room for the plug. This simple solution will increase the life of your cable by preventing damaging bends.

3. Quicker Connect Connectors

Conventional, fully threaded connectors on servo motor cable assemblies can be challenging to install due to mounting orientation of servo motors. In these applications, serious problems can occur due to incomplete connections of fully threaded units, such as contact arcing or power/signal degradation. At the very least, operators have sacrificed a lot of time and knuckle skin to these time-consuming, threaded connectors.

Several servo motion control automation OEMs offer M17, M23 and M40 fully threaded connectors only. However, cables can be customized with quarter turn connectors using the revolutionary SpeedTec connection system.




When servo motors are equipped with SpeedTec ready receptacles, cable assemblies with SpeedTec connectors can be used, thus providing quicker, safer, more reliable connections—and keeping knuckles intact!

4. Extension Cables

When shipping machinery and production equipment, it’s important to be able to quickly disassemble and reassemble the equipment. Extension cables make this process much faster and easier. Third party servo-motor cable manufacturers can quickly and easily provide any number of extension cables to simplify the shipping process.

Additionally, extension cables can make it easier to service machinery and equipment using servo motors, especially when working with cat-track modules. Moving sections of cables, like those installed in energy chains, can fail prematurely. Extension cables are a viable solution for reducing the amount of time it takes to replace failed servo motor cables.

5. Servo Motor Cable Types

Servo motors are being used in more and more new applications, and this often requires changes to standard features that are not yet commonly available. Now servo motors are appearing in alternative energy production (wind turbines, solar farms), robot end effector tooling (weld guns and rivet tools) and amusement park animation (jaw control). This introduces completely new environments and needs than the traditional servo cable applications in machine tools and production equipment.

Historically, servo motor cables fell into two classifications: static cables and continuous, single axis flexing cables. However, with many of the new applications of servo motors, servo motor cable requirements are also changing. Cables for these applications require different continuous flex ratings, TC-ER ratings, and UV ratings, and standard cables cannot keep up. Third party servo-motor cable manufacturers give you flexibility in this area, to ensure your cable meets the rating that is safe and effective for your application, not just the standard.

When customer requirements and your resulting equipment designs prompt you to consider customized servo motor cable assemblies, contact Electro-Matic Integrated and learn more about what we can offer.

 How do you source servo motor cable assemblies? Download the Guide

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