This paper considers the dynamic interaction between a DC motor and its slewing beam load. The system is described in terms of dimensionless parameters which generalize the results and define the tendency for interaction between the motor and beam. The study focuses on the performance and behavior of the system under closed-loop control. Motor-beam arrangements with differing amounts of dynamic interaction are defined by simple adjustments in gear ratio for a specified motor and beam. Each of these systems is controlled with full state feedback and various forms of output feedback. Controller performance is optimized in each case and the systems are compared to evaluate the effect of motor-beam interaction on the closed-loop system behavior. Systems with an appropriate amount of motor-beam interaction tend to be easier to control and require modest amounts of actuation effort. Systems with little motor-beam interaction are especially prone to beam vibrations and require feedback of beam motions for good closed-loop performance. Those systems with excessive interaction require stabilization efforts to obtain good transient performance and tend to consume increased levels of actuation energy.

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