Programmable encoders feature miniature sensors

Inmocovisit website


Inmoco is introducing the Mercury 3000 and 2000 programmable encoder systems, from MicroE Systems, which combine superior noise immunity for demanding industrial applications with the highest level of positional resolution: 20nm. The M3000 and M2000 enable engineers to optimise motion platform performance in real time; they deliver a high operating speed, up to 7.2m/s, and provide what Inmoco describes as 'revolutionary bolt-in alignment' in many applications.

In addition to a claimed best-in-class noise immunity, the new Mercury 3000 and 2000 encoder systems feature what is said to be the smallest sensor in the industry. Just half the height and less than half the volume of competitive encoder sensors, Mercury's miniature microphotonic sensor enables designers to downsize motion platform size and reduce total platform weight in both rotary and linear applications. The benefits of this are twofold: the use of smaller and lower-cost motors to drive motion platforms, and improved system performance.

Also aiding system performance and adding unparalleled levels of system flexibility are the programmable interpolation and output speed features integrated into the Mercury 3000 and 2000 encoders. These features mean that the Mercury 3000 and 2000 are claimed to be the only available encoder systems that allow engineers to optimise motion platform performance in real time. Using MicroE's exclusive SmartPrecision Software system, users can set the depth of interpolation in integer steps, as well as output speed for the SmartPrecision electronics module. For the M3000, the interpolation depth ranges from x4 to x1024, with maximum resolution of 20nm. For the M2000, maximum interpolation is x256, yielding a resolution of 78nm. Furthermore, Mercury encoder systems deliver this performance at a speed of 7.2m/s for the model M3000Si at full resolution with the serial word interface.

'Bolt-in alignment'

Adding to their ease of use, the Mercury series encoders offer 'bolt-in alignment capability' in many applications, thanks to their relaxed tolerances - a full +/-2 degrees in the theta Z axis - or four times the alignment flexibility of the closest competitive encoder, according to Inmoco. In addition, no external test gear is required to align the sensor. LEDs on the SmartPrecision electronics module indicate when the user has achieved alignment and when they have established an index. As a result, virtually anyone can install and align a Mercury encoder, with no external test gear or special training.

MicroE's optional SmartPrecision software can be used to optimise the operation of the M3000 and M2000 encoders. This equips engineers with a tool to assess encoder performance in real time for initial motion loop tuning, and for system monitoring over time. In addition to initial setup of interpolation depth, SmartPrecision software generates graphical displays of signal strength, Lissajous plots, as well as position and velocity data and output speed. The software can even be used for data capture and displaying alarms. Moreover, if the set-up is changed for a faster controller at a later date, users can easily reprogram the output bandwidth to match the new controller.

About the Mercury encoder family

The Mercury encoder family includes twenty-nine models, all of which are claimed to be smaller, faster and smarter than other encoders on the market. This breadth of product range means that OEM engineers can select the encoder model that is just right for their application - from programmable, digital, analogue and vacuum models - while enjoying the performance improvements offered by Mercury encoder systems.

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