What do we mean by optimised motor control?

The keener eyed amongst you may have noticed our slogan referring to “Optimised Motor Control” and wondered what exactly what we meant by this. Well, wonder no more…

Our aim from the outset

One of the founding aims of Zikodrive was to reduce the amount of work required by customers to integrate and programme motor controllers. The idea was that, wherever possible, we would reduce the requirement for them to make changes or setup controllers by working with them to develop solutions that worked for them and supplying them exactly as the customer required – ready to go straight out the box.

We were regularly in conversation with customers who had controllers that could do the fundamentals of what they wanted but were complex to setup than they would like, adding additional costs due to the setup time.

The aim was therefore to develop a range of stock solutions that could be quickly setup by customers to deliver the performance they required. In conjunction with a responsive and rapid custom design department, with ongoing investment to improve the quality of this service, it was intended that we would be able to deliver a wide range of optimised solutions for a large number of customers.

The predicted niche for cost effective optimised solutions has proven to be the case with the service we offer being accessible to smaller companies who may not have otherwise been able to develop the solutions they required.

An important part of our environmental commitment

As strange as it may sound, the focus on optimising motor control solutions to their specific applications is also a key component of our wider environmental commitment. By following in the footsteps of Earl Muntz and removing all unnecessary components, we not only reduce the cost to our customers, but also the environmental impact of every solution we develop.

Quite simply, fewer components and smaller boards mean less raw materials used, less mass requiring transportation and hence, a reduced carbon footprint. We think this situation is a win:win:win:win – see just some of the benefits below:

  1. Lower environmental impact.
  2. Lower cost
  3. Lower risk of failure due to less components that can go wrong.
  4. Faster lead times and production times.

A key service for product developers

We’ve also had considerable experience in working with product developers and engineers who often have quite tricky envelopes for controllers. As increasing numbers of controllers are being directly integrated into products it has increased the demand for custom design to enable product designers to achieve more in less space.

How it works in practice?

In practice, we have a stock range of products but we also maintain a range of reference designs that were originally developed to be adaptable and easy to amend. This enables us to quickly and responsively modify these designs to meet the requirements of the customer, whether it’s a space issue, a size issue or a cost issue.

Our team will work with you to develop a clear specification for your requirements. We’ll then explore the lowest cost, fastest options first. Do we have a stock unit that can be custom programmed to meet your needs? If not, do we have a stock controller or reference design that can be quickly modified to meet your needs and prototyped rapidly? Finally, if your requirements are such that the only option is a custom design then we will work with you to develop a model for this, using our experience to advise on key issues and make recommendations about the design choices. Where there are options that can be added at relatively low expense we will be highlight these and let you decide.

As a company we work hard to continuously improve, learning from experience what works and what doesn’t work. We’ll give you the benefit of this experience at all stages to advise if a particular feature may add significant risk to a project or additional design time and discussing your requirements in detail.

Once you’re happy we can press ahead with the project in whatever form is agreed and take it all the way from concept through to full production with our engineers in complete control at all times. The boards will then arrive to a pre-agreed specification and will function in the exact way required.

A service we’re proud of

Doing what we do is not easy and we take the quality management of the entire process extremely seriously. We conduct DFM and FMEA checks and use industry standard production processes and quality management processes to ensure we’re able to deliver on our promise of Optimised Motor Control. Where there’s a problem we’ll be up front and honest about the repercussions of that problem and how it will impact on the project and we’ll take all possible steps to ensure we pull back any time in the project.

We invest heavily in all areas of the business, whether in recruiting design engineers to increase design capacity or training new staff members in prototype and production building techniques. We are proud of the service we offer and take a great deal of joy in taking a project from concept through to full production. We like customers who take an active interest in the process and if possible, you can visit the factory and see your boards once they are in production.

Got a question – talk to our team

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in then please do get in touch with our team. If the idea is not fully formed in your mind we’d be happy to work with you to firm up a specification and discuss the potential options we can offer for a project. Equally, if you’re not even at the controller design stage but are looking to specify a system for a particular application we can help make recommendations. We have experienced design, production and applications engineers who are all happy to talk to you about any particular ideas you have.

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