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In this paper, we address the problem of precision motion control of permanent-magnet linear motors (PMLMs) under the influence of significant disturbances. We establish a mathematical model of a PMLM driven by a sinusoidal pulsewidth-modulated (PWM) amplifier, obtaining it from a describing function analysis of the essentially nonlinear characteristics. The overall model (PWM+PMLM) inevitably inherits uncertainties in the face of load changes, system parameter perturbation, noise, and inherent system nonlinearities, etc., all of which constitute disturbances to the control system that will adversely affect the precision and accuracy. We propose a robust control scheme employing a disturbance observer to address the sensitivity of the control performance to the disturbances. Real-time experimental results are provided to verify and confirm the practical effectiveness of the proposed approach.