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4 Types of Encoders and Their Uses
Friday, June 8, 2018

You might have heard the term encoders, but you might not know what exactly an encoder does. Encoders are devices that convert the data of one particular format to another format. You can see this happening in motion control systems where encoders provide important feedback about some operational movement which helps in monitoring and also maintaining a correctly functioning system.

In order to understand the function of encoders, we can take an example of a multiplexer. A multiplexer is a type of encoder that receives numerous data streams and then transfers them into one single output. This output is then analyzed to ensure if the system is performing as it needs to or not.

However, different types of encoders have different purposes. Not all encoders function as feedback devices. Some of them alter the various aspects of the data collected by other encoders in order to better serve an application.

Although there is a variety of encoders, but they are broken into four broad categories. Now, let’s discuss the four types of encoders and their properties.

1- Linear Encoder

Linear encoders are transducers that are used to measure the distance between two given points. These encoders sometimes use a cable for long distances or a rod for shorter distances. In such cases a cable is run between the transducer encoder and the moving object. As the object continues to move, the transducer encoder collects the data from the cable and gives an output signal that is linear to the movement of the object. Once this distance has been measured, the linear encoder uses this information to determine the ultimate position for the object. Linear encoders can be of two types incremental or absolute.

2- Rotary Encoder

As the name suggests, rotary encoders provide feedback about the movement of a rotating device. To be more specific, it provides data related to the device’s angular position. A rotary encoder can also be absolute or incremental.

3- Position Encoder

This type of encoder produces electronic signals to indicate towards an absolute mechanical position of an object. They also identify and indicate the incremental change between the relationship of the object and the encoder.

4- Optical Encoder

This type of encoder represents the data by using the pulses of light. These light waves are then studied to identify variables like direction, position and velocity. In rotating applications, optical encoders respond to the rotating shaft and obtain data related to its movement. And in liner applications, optical encoders are used to determine the exact position of the object in relation to the optical encoder.

The uses of encoders in automation industry have risen to great heights. If you’re in the automation industry and require knowing the exact positioning, distance and angles of axle or shaft then contact Rilco Industrial Controls. We offer the best quality of encoders and have a reputation of working with only the best companies in the automation business. Also, our employees are experts in the automation business and can help you identify what type of encoder will suit your needs.



 
 
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