I’m working on a battery powered feed system for welding and/or field machining. The system doesn’t have to feed smooth and consistently on the sub millimeter level, but be able to hold a somewhat accurate feed rate over a few minutes (+/- 5 to 10%). The system should be able to run into a hard stop, so I can’t use the high gear ratios commonly used in such applications, or the gear will produce too much torque and something will break.
The two options I see are using a servo system to run a motor at a fraction of an RPM, or just use a brushed DC motor in short spurts of a a few turns, while just counting the full turns of the motor.
I think both options would work well, but the question I am having difficulties answering is which of the two systems would be more efficient, and provide a longer battery life?