A servo drive receives a command signal from a control system, amplifies the signal, and transmits electric current to a servo motor in order to produce motion proportional to the command signal. Typically the command signal represents a desired velocity, but can also represent a desired torque or position. A sensor attached to the servo motor reports the motor's actual status back to the servo drive. The servo drive then compares the actual motor status with the commanded motor status. It then alters the voltage frequency orpulse width to the motor so as to correct for any deviation from the commanded status.
In a properly configured spcontrol system, the servo motor rotates at a velocity that very closely approximates the velocity signal being received by the servo drive from the control system. Several parameters, such as stiffness (also known as proportional gain), damping (also known as derivative gain), and feedback gain, can be adjusted to achieve this desired performance.
The process of adjusting these parameters is called performance tuning. Although many servo motors require a drive specific to that particular motor brand or model, many drives are now available that are compatible with a wide variety of motors.