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Servo Drive & Motor Expert | VFD AC Drive Repair

Posted on 22nd Dec 2022

Why Do Servo Drives Come in a Variety of Form Factors

Servo drives occur in a variety of sizes and shapes, selecting the right form factor is frequently a crucial step in determining which servo drive to utilize for your application.

A form factor is defined precisely. An electronics device's size, shape, and other physical characteristics are referred to as its form factor.

Form factors are one of the most typical ways servo drives are characterised in the field of motion control.

Why do servo drives come in so many distinct form factors?

You might expect it to be rather uniform by this point given that technology has been around for decades.

However, certain applications frequently benefit more from different form factors.

Engineers frequently must decide which servo drive style to use based on criteria other than power capacity, including space limitations, accessibility, exposure to the elements, and even personal preference.

Let's explore the different types of servo drive form factors and where it might be best to use a certain one.

Panel Mount

Servo Panel Mount Drive

An external connector, bracket baseplate, and cover are included in this digital panel mount servo drive.

The conventional servo drive form factor is panel mount.

They have existed for many years.

They have a very plain appearance—they seem like boxes with connectors on them.

The majority of the circuit board is covered by a plastic or metal cover that is secured to a metallic base plate.

The baseplate usually has an L-shaped cross-section, which allows it to completely enclose the servo drive on two sides.

The baseplate has a number of uses.

PCB Mount

PCB mount servo drives

Several examples of PCB mount servo drives.

PCB mount drives forego wire connections and connect directly to another printed circuit board solely using pins, offering tight integration.

Unlike panel mount servo drives, PCB mount servo drives have an open structure. There's no protective cover, so the printed circuit board is largely exposed. Some PCB mount servo drives, however, do feature a baseplate that acts as a heat sink.

The pin-based connection of PCB mount servo drives lends itself best to compact servo drive designs. For many years, the PCB mount form factor has been associated with lower power servo drives because of their small size.

A few illustrations of servo drives mounted on PCBs.

In order to provide tight integration, PCB mount drives forgo wire connections and connect directly to another printed circuit board using only pins.

PCB mount servo drives feature an open structure as opposed to panel mount servo drives.

The printed circuit board is largely exposed because there is no protective cover.

Nevertheless, some PCB mount servo drives do have a baseplate that serves as a heat sink.

Compact servo drive designs work best with the pin-based connection of PCB mount servo drives.

Because of its tiny size, the PCB mount form factor has long been linked to lower power servo drives.

However, improvements in power density have made PCB mount servo drives competitive with earlier, bigger panel mount servo drives, as seen in the Matrix drive family from Darwin Motion, which is avaiable at CM Industry Supply Automation.

Computer Embedded

Embedded servo drives with mounting cards for machines

Servo drives incorporated in machines with flying leads and connectors.

Our machine integrated drivers combine the openness, compactness, and connection style of panel mount servo drives with PCB mount servo drives.

It is, in essence, a PCB mount servo drive with an integrated mounting card.

Machine integrated servo drives are ideal for machine applications where space may be at a premium, as the name suggests.

They work well for mobile applications in the field where modest size is required yet immediate maintenance and replacement are required.

Automobile Mount

servo drive mounted on a fully enclosed vehicle.

Heavy duty amplifiers with tough exteriors and large current outputs are vehicle mount servo drivers.

The core electronics of vehicle mount servo drives are well-protected by a strong plastic shell with an ip65 rating that surrounds the drive and a substantial baseplate.

Five screw terminals are used to connect the supply power to the motor, and a sealable connector is used for all communication.

Vehicle mount servo drives, as their name suggests, are designed to move big electric vehicles by producing a lot of current to provide them the traction they need.

A strong heat sink is provided by the extra-thick baseplate, which helps control the high current output.

All terrain mobile robots are well suited to the robustness of vehicle mount servo drives.


There are some flexible guidelines for choosing a servo drive like Lenze Drive form factor. The servo drive's mounting method or size may not always matter for a given application.

Small PCB mount servo drives are available that can perform on par with certain bigger panel mount servo drivers.

For an entirely static application, a vehicle mount servo drive is occasionally the best option.

Other times, selecting a servo drive with the appropriate form factor will determine whether an application is successful or not.