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Nickel-disc encoders can be programmed by users
Published:  04 July, 2008

Following more than two years of development, Sick has unveiled a new generation of incremental encoders which, it says, will cater for almost any application, with UK prices starting at just £100.

"For an encoder which delivers the highest levels of accuracy, even in difficult environmental conditions and high vibration, thatís at least 30% less than anything comparable on the market," says Sickís UK encoder product manager, Darren Pratt.

Sick nickel encoders

The DFS60 encoders (above) use nickel code discs which are as accurate as glass discs, without being fragile, and offer better temperature stability than plastic discs. They have an operating range of Ė20įC to +100įC and a shock resistance of 70G. The discs are centred automatically on their shafts during production, helping to cut production costs.

The distance between the encoderís ball bearings (30mm) is longer than for most other encoders, resulting in smooth, vibration-free running, according to Sick.

The IP65-protected encoders fall into three families, ranging from budget-level Eco models with a resolution of 2,048 line counts, through Basic versions offering 10,000 lines, to an Advanced series with a resolution of 65,536 lines.

There are programmable versions of the top models, allowing users to set line counts up to the maximum resolution, zero pulse widths of 90, 180 or 270 degrees, and TTL or HTL outputs. According to Pratt, these versions allow the encoders to be fine-tuned or re-programmed to suit an application. They can also be held as spares and programmed to replace any failed encoders. "Thereís nothing else like it available," he asserts.

UK prices for the Basic family start at £120 and the Advanced family at £220. The programmable variants cost £146 and £270.

Darren Pratt expects the new encoders to be the backbone of Sickís incremental encoder offering for at least five years. Absolute versions are likely to follow.

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