As motion control systems shrink in size to fit smaller production equipment, all system components need to become smaller as well. RENCO Encoders Inc. addresses that need with a new modular commutating encoder, the RCML 15, described as the lowest profile optical encoder available for brushless dc servomotors.
Servomotors usually require a Hall sensor arrangement for motor commutation, and a second device, usually an optical encoder, to provide position feedback information. The RCML15 combines both of these devices into a single small package measuring 0.350 inch high. "We reduced the height of the RCML15 by using a first-of-a-kind folded optic system that combines a prism and condenser lens in a single molded part," says engineer Kevin Carbone. "The design simplifies manufacturing of the device, and it allows for significant reduction in the height of the overall package. In addition, we combined all of the electronics required for the commutation and encoder circuits into a single optoASIC."
The encoder currently supports motors with maximum shaft size of 0.25 inch, and a bolt circle size of 1.28 inches. Despite being low in profile, the RCML15 features RENCO's patented, self-contained centering and gapping mechanism, which the company says makes the device easy and fast to install without any special tools. The new encoder also has a fully enclosed code disk that reduces the risk of damaging or losing parts during installation.
Applications for the RCML 15 include brushless motors used for tape drives, medical devices such as blood centrifuges, machine tools, industrial automation equipment, printers, and "basically any small rotating equipment," according to Carbone.
Additional Details…RENCO Encoders Inc., 26 Coromar Dr., Goleta, CA 93117; Tel: (805) 968-1525; Fax: (805) 685-7965; www.renco.com , or Enter No. 581.