Servo motor hybrid cables: Why should I use them?

When it comes to hybrid cables, there are numerous different types that fall under the larger umbrella term. Most common are hybrid 5G cables, but any two electrical requirements typically in two separate cables being combined into one overall jacket can be considered a hybrid cable. This blog is going to look at servo motor hybrid cables, which combine a power and a data cable for use in servo motor drives, and how exactly these cables can save you time, money, and space.


The Cost of Servo Motor Hybrid Cables

If you’re deciding between a standard two-cable setup or a hybrid cable for your servo motor, one of the biggest deciding factors should be the cost savings. Hybrid cables can save you money in two major ways: installation cost and material cost.

Installation Cost

The popular adage “time is money” is the perfect way to look at hybrid vs. single cables in terms of installation costs. Simply put, when installing a two cable system, it will take twice as long to install compared to a single hybrid cable. When considering installation for applications with potentially dozens of servo motors, installation times (and therefore costs) add up quickly. Being able to cut that work time in half is a difficult thing to pass up. 

Material Cost

Another clear benefit of using servo hybrid cables is the cost of the cables themselves. When using a two-cable setup, you’re paying for two separate cables, each with their own shielding, outer jacket, connectors, etc. Hybrid cables eliminate much of the excess material you’d otherwise be paying for, while still maintaining quality composition and performance suited for heavy duty applications.

image of the layers of a servo motor hybrid cable

Saving Space with Servo Motor Hybrid Cables

Besides cost, servo hybrid cables can help cut down on the space needed for the cables. Only half the space is necessary for hybrid cables, since it’s literally using half the cable you would in a two-cable setup. Only needing to account for the space of one cable is helpful in applications where space is limited.

Another reason space is so important to consider is because the amount of space taken up by cables will determine what size cable carrier you use. Using just one cable as opposed to two could mean the difference between two different sizes of cable carrier, leading to notably different form factors for the application. As chainflex® Product Manager Tim Marran puts it “...when we’re talking about cables inside of a cable carrier, space is very limited and we want to make sure we have the smallest profile cable carrier – or e-chain® – that we can possibly use to save space on the machine itself.”

Servo Motor Hybrid Cable Reliability

various metal cable connectors for use with servo motor hybrid cablesThere’s one more major, yet underrated, benefit to using a servo motor hybrid cable. In a system with two cables, each cable will have two connection points, one at each end. With hybrid cables, there are only two connection points since there’s just one cable. Each connection point is a potential “failure mode”, and if any one connection point fails, the whole machine experiences downtime. Reducing the number of connection points, therefore, is essential to creating a more reliable solution for your servo drive. Not to mention the connectors themselves can be particularly expensive, so the more you can eliminate, the more you can save.

Now that you know a bit more about the hows and whys of choosing hybrid cables over two-cable systems, the next step is replacing your current motor/drive system with one that supports hybrid cables. Once that’s done, you’re ready to implement the hybrid cables and be on your way! If you have further questions about servo motor hybrid cables, or any other chainflex products, you can contact the chainflex product manager here, visit our website, or call us at 800-521-2747.

Jared Worth