Sensorless brushless DC (BLDC) motors are well-suited for use in dental drills. They operate with less abrasion than brushed motors, and are more reliable, quieter, and easier to maintain and sterilize. Compared with BLDC motors with sensors, sensorless BLDC motors are less expensive and more compact. However, the complex algorithms needed for sensorless control require much more engineering effort to develop.
ITK Engineering saved time and effort by using Model-Based Design to develop and implement a production BLDC motor controller compliant with the IEC 62304 standard for medical device software.
“Model-Based Design with Simulink enabled us to design and optimize the controller even before the motor hardware was available for testing and then generate production code for the controller once we had the motor,” says Dr. Michael Schwarz, senior engineer for medical control systems at ITK. “It would have been impossible to complete this project on schedule if we had written the code by hand.”