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Wear-free rotary encoder is ‘first non-contact system’

08 May, 2013

Turck claims to have developed the first high-resolution, non-contact universal encoder that is immune from magnetic fields and free from wear. The encoder has separate inductive sensor and positioning elements that are are encapsulated (to IP69K) and work together without making contact.

The separation of the sensing and positioning elements means that any vibrations or shocks from the rotating shaft are not passed on to the sensor. Turck says that this makes the RI360P-QR24 encoder more resilient than either optical or magnetic devices, adding that it is the only encoder that is wear-free and stays sealed permanently.

The lack of wear eliminates machine downtimes and maintenance, even in precision and high-speed applications.

Users can parameterise the encoder to act as an incremental, multi-turn or single-turn encoder. This makes it suitable for almost any industrial application, allowing one model to replace several different types of encoder. Users can also set output signals, switch points and measuring ranges individually via an IO-Link connection.

The encoder operates on an inductive resonance circuit-measuring principle. It can compensate for vibrations and for offsets of up to 4mm. Magnetic fields cannot disturb the measuring process because it is based not on magnets, but on inductive coils.

The encoders can be set to resolutions of up to 18 bits, even for the highest speeds. Users no longer have to choose between resolution and a robust design.

Adapter rings allow the encoders to be fitted on standard solid and hollow shafts with diameters up to 20mm, reducing stockholding requirements further. The doughnut-shaped sensor is placed over the shaft and the positioning element is fitted either behind or in front of it.

Turck is offering a high-resolution variant with an SSI output, a Modbus and voltage/current version, as well as an encoder that meets the e1 specification for use on mobile machines.

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