With competition heating up for manufacturers of feedback devices and encoders, it's becoming more important for suppliers to add differentiating features and unique value for customers.
“One trend for feedback devices is to give users much more flexibility,” says Scott Hewitt, president of Sick Stegmann. His company introduced a programmable encoder, so the end-customer can use a USB cable and small software application to program the linecount of the encoder. That flexibility allows OEMs, distributors and end-users to stock fewer encoders to meet their needs and test for the most effective PPR for a specific application.
Other new products are focused on boosting feedback resolution, and addressing detailed issues affecting noise immunity and vibration to provide the most flexible solutions for new applications.
Program Encoders Using USB Port
New incremental encoders from Sick Stegmann can be programmed by the customer to create tailor-made solutions for specific application needs. The new DRS61 CoreTech® incremental encoders provide a USB connection and programming software, so users can freely program the number of lines from 1 to 8,192, as well as the width of the zero pulse. This flexible programming option allows use of a single type of encoder, and allows users to program the unit at any time and for specific applications. End-users can reduce inventory requirements, gain immediate availability to product and limit downtime. OEMs can use the encoder to determine the optimum PPR for their machine.
High-Performance Magnetostrictive Position Sensor
Based on its next-generation Temposonics® design platform, MTS Sensors has introduced a new R-Series Synchronous Serial Encoder (SSI) interface position sensor. The unit includes options for synchronized 7,500 kHz update rates and position accuracy as low as ±20 microns (±0.0008 inch). Proprietary synchronization technology guarantees accurate position output while minimizing inherent system-related delays to produce smooth, precise velocity loop control. An internal measurement error-checking routine insures high immunity to shock and vibration. Its double-shielded design provides a high EMC immunity level (IEC/EN 50082-2, IEC/EN 61000-4-2/3/4/6, level 3/4 criterion A). An IP 67 housing (IP 68 with integral cable) is standard, as well as ATEX-approved explosion-proof and NEMA 4X optional housings.
High Resolution Absolute Encoder
The Spherosyn™ absolute linear feedback encoder from Newall has an IP67 rating and requires no batteries or static memory to retain positional data. The units offer accuracy down to 3 micron and resolutions to 0.1 micron. With a travel length of 9.25m and a traverse rate of up to 60 m/sec, the encoder is designed for linear motor and high velocity measurement applications including CNC feedback, pick and place machines, automotive transfer lines, packaging and printing machines. The encoder provides absolute position immediately on power-up and does not use batteries or static memory to retain the positional data. True position can be reacquired once power is applied, regardless of duration or power-off movements.