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`Revolutionary` encoder slashes set-up times
Published:  01 September, 2003

`Revolutionary` encoder slashes set-up times

Sick/Stegmann claims to have developed the world`s first incremental encoder with a once-per-revolution pulse that is set electronically. The company says that the encoder could cut machine alignment times from 20—30 minutes to a matter of seconds.

The once-per-revolution pulse, also known as the Z channel signal, is used in printing and packaging machinery to ensure that the registration system works precisely. The width of the pulse can be less than 1/100th of a degree. Aligning it with the machine cycle is normally a time-consuming process in which the encoder shaft is moved by hand to the position where the pulse occurs, before the encoder is mounted on the machine.

With the new encoder (shown above), all the user has to do is to press a button which shifts the zero-pulse position instantly to the current shaft position. It is no longer necessary to move the encoder shaft by hand before mounting.

As well as saving time, the encoder cuts the amount of production material that is wasted during commissioning. Normally up to 50 pieces of packaging go to waste during the set-up process. Sick/Stegmann says with the new DRS60 encoder, just one or two of these, often costly, packages are wasted.

The encoder is available in both hollow- and solid-shaft formats, with cable or connector exits, and a choice of output circuits including RS-422 (TTL) and push-pull (HTL). It offers up to 8,192 lines. The zero-pulse button is located under cap at the rear of the encoder.

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