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Design Decisions: Choosing a Rotary Encoder

By Tom Wyatt, automation division manager, HEIDENHAIN Corp.


Controlled servo drives are used in many areas of automation technolDesign News encoders.jpgogy, converting, printing, handling, and robotics, including production machines and machine tools. The selection of a rotary encoder or encoder technology for use within the system is dependent on the accuracy requirements of the application, whether it is position and/or velocity control. Before making an encoder decision, an engineer should examine this and all the major encoder properties that influence important motor performance.

Positioning accuracy
Positioning accuracy depends solely on the application requirements. Resolvers mostly have one signal period per revolution. Therefore, the position resolution is extremely limited, and the accuracy typically is in the range of ~ ±500" (Arc seconds), assuming interpolation in the drive electronics usually results in a total of 16,384 positions per revolution.


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