Compact optical encoder achieves good speed and accuracy

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Compact optical encoder achieves good speed and accuracyTONiC is Renishaw's new super-compact non-contact optical encoder that offers speeds up to 10m/s and resolutions down to 5nm for both linear and rotary applications. Offering significant enhancements to Renishaw's existing range of high-speed non-contact optical encoders, TONiC also gives improved signal stability and long-term reliability, low cost of ownership and a level of simplicity that is claimed to be unrivalled.

Motion system designers are usually faced with a compromise between speed and accuracy. However, with the TONiC encoder, this dilemma is removed and, even at resolutions as low as 0.1um, speeds in excess of 3m/s can be achieved with a variety of linear and rotary scale types. This includes a new version of Renishaw's flexible gold tape scale that features the highly regarded customer selectable IN-TRAC optical reference mark, which is auto-phased simply by the press of a button. Renishaw says that, uniquely, the IN-TRAC reference mark is directly embedded into the incremental channel, which maximises immunity to yaw-induced de-phasing and, furthermore, ensures phasing is retained throughout the entire speed and temperature range.

Renishaw's optical encoders are said to be quick and easy to install. In addition to the INTRAC bi-directional reference mark, the new TONiC encoder takes this simplicity to the next level by offering auto-calibration and a readhead with two integral diagnostic LEDs.

The new TONiC readheads may be small, but signal purity and stability are further enhanced by incorporating dynamic signal processing within the readhead, thereby providing an ultra-low sub-divisional error of better than +/-30nm. System designers can use an analogue 1Vpp signal taken direct from the readhead, or use a digital output from the 15-pin D-type housing, offering interpolation and diagnostics. Long-term operational reliability is further assured with Renishaw's proven filtering optics, which are now enhanced by Auto Gain Control for rugged signals that can withstand dust, scratches and even light oils on the scale.

As with all Renishaw encoders, the TONiC encoder system is also built to withstand difficult operating environments, tolerating temperatures of up to 70degC. Furthermore it meets high environmental standards, with both WEEE and RoHS compliance.

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