The Working Mechanism of an Optical Encoder

A decoder plays an important role in improving both the accuracy and resolution of various equipment. That includes robotics, machine tools, CMMs, assembly devices, and more. Industries use optical linear encoders for applications with a strong magnetic field.

For this, companies rely on optical and mechanical encoders, although they work somewhat differently. In both cases, the encoder detects pulse signals that pass through a slit. Then, it converts those signals into electrical signals before finally outputting them.

Mechanical encoders use discreet and physical steps to determine a wheel’s orientation. Optical encoders rely on a combination of a phototransistor and LED. Another option is a sealed linear encoder. This device has an aluminum housing designed for a very specific purpose. In particular, it shields against dust, chips, water, and more to protect the scanning carriage, guideway, and scale.

More About Optical Linear Encoders

By monitoring motion in a straight line, this device can provide valuable position feedback. It accomplishes that with the generated electrical signals. To make this possible, you can consider several different types of encoders.

Optical and mechanical encoders enhance in-house operations for the industries that use them. At the same time, these devices improve end products. So, for a company that provides machine tooling services, they can better accommodate the customer’s needs. The more satisfied the customer, the more growth the business experiences.

In addition to sealed, optical, and mechanical encoders, other options exist. Here are two examples:

  • Exposed Linear Encoder – For various types of precision devices, this is the ideal choice. The reason is that it doesn’t have any mechanical contact with the scanning head or scale tape. Often, the exposed linear encoder is what the semiconductor industry relies on.
  • Incremental Linear Encoders – The design of this encoder allows it to calculate the current position but in a unique way. It begins with a small amount of information, followed by counting measured steps. However, it’s different from optical, and mechanical encoders. That’s because this device can count subdivides and signal periods as well.

Buying from a Reputable Source

These devices, especially optical linear encoders, perform a critical task. So, it’s important to work with a reputable source. Maintenance Diagnostic Systems, Inc. not only sells superior encoders but also provides specialized services. For details or a free quote, give us a call. One of our representatives will gladly answer your questions and guide you through the selection process.