OK, so I've used steppers for CNC but I'm now making a dedicated machine for an automated process.
I'm going to be making and programming a microcontroller (MCU) to operate this machine. So my options are 120 VAC Reversible Gearmotor, DC Reversable Gearmotor or Stepper.
Now I need to be able to reverse the motor and control it's speed (RPM).
With the AC gearmotor I would have to design and buid a controller for it, I would probably use a harbor freight router speed control and figure out if I can use the MCU to replace the potentiometer with a function of the MCU to control it's speed. I would also need to use limit switches for it's beginning and end positions. The only benefits of the AC motor is the power supply is already in the wall and I can get the motors fairly cheap for the amount of torque I need.
For the DC motors they already have designs out there for DC motor controllers, but I would still need limit switches. The bad side of the DC is that most gearmotors with the high rate of torque I need are either expensive or need like 12V 21A and that power supply would be expensive.
So I got to thinking I could get a very high torque stepper motor for about $100 and steppers are very good at low RPM for torque. I'm looking at like 3 RPMs. Stepper drivers are readily available, I'm very new to this so it should be simple sending out a PWM signal from the MCU. With this approach I could control RPM speed and position, I wouldn't need limit switches I could just tell it to go the distance I need.
Even though the steppers I'm look at are in the 850 - 1100 oz. in. range I might use a 2" toothed pulley on the stepper and a 6" tooth pulley on the arm I need to move, unless the stepper would be strong enough to move it.
Does this sound like a plan or am I missing something, using the steppers like this.