Stepper Motor Applications

ATO stepper motors are predominantly sold for medical and optical applications, but it is truly not confined to those two market segments. The idea of this section is to present some successful applications realized with ATO stepper motors.

Drug delivery pump (medical application)

The battery powered drug delivery pump (e. g. insulin pumps used against diabetes or pain treatment pumps) application field is growing of interest. Therefore, many medical manufacturers try to design and develop their own pump. In such devices, a motor is usually used to rotate or position a piston that controls the injection of the drug. The motor operates infrequently (time ON<< time OFF), must hold the position without current and move the piston at a very steady speed. Together with the requirement for a simple and compact electronic, the stepper motor truly makes sense.

Hand-held X-ray analyzer (instrumentation application)

The hand-held X-ray analyzer enables to scan a metal object and characterize its composition. The role of the stepper motor is to position a metal filter wheel in order to calibrate the device. The very short length of the stepper motor and its easy to integrate control electronic are appreciated by the manufacturers of such equipment.

X-Y microscope stage (optical application)

Stepper motors are also widely used in optical elements, which are often integrated in other applications (medical, instrumentation, defense, etc.). In this example, the stepper motor is used to move a microscope stage. Again, the stepper motor naturally makes sense since it’s a compact drive and the open loop control cannot be faulted since the operator of the microscope visually actually control the position.

Gyroscopic camera (defense application)

Unmanned planes, also known as drones, need cameras with high stability and image precision. Hence, the integration of stepper motors in such systems to control either the zoom /focus of the image or the pan/tilt of the camera.

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