Linear encoder track system simplifies installation

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Linear encoder track system simplifies installationFASTRACK is described by Renishaw as a revolutionary track-mounted linear encoder scale system that combines +/-5um/m accuracy with the ruggedness of stainless steel and the simple installation of a carrier-type encoder system.

Designed for applications that require high accuracy and an easily removable scale, the FASTRACK linear optical encoder system consists of two miniature yet rugged guide rails. These securely retain Renishaw's new low-profile scales (8 x 0.2mm cross-section) and allow them to expand at their own thermal expansion coefficient with almost zero hysteresis (sub-micron on a centre-clamped 2m axis over the entire operating temperature range, for example). If damaged, the scale can be pulled out of the guide rails and quickly replaced, even where access is limited, thereby minimising machine downtime.

FASTRACK can be used with either Renishaw's RTLC incremental scale and super-compact TONiC readhead, or the new RESOLUTE linear absolute encoder and RTLA absolute scale. In both cases, the encoders feature advanced optoelectronics conferring resolutions to 1nm, low sub-divisional error (SDE) and very low jitter for smoother velocity control and positional stability.

Quick and easy installation

Renishaw also claims that the FASTRACK linear encoder scale system offers unrivalled ease of installation. The self-adhesive guide rails feature integral pre-aligned sacrificial spacers that are removed using a handheld tool after installation. The scale is then fed in from either end and locked to the substrate at a single datum point anywhere along the axis using cyanoacrylate glue. For TONiC RTLC incremental scale installations, limit magnets and a reference mark selector (RTLC scale features multiple IN-TRAC reference marks at regular spacings) can also be fitted to the FASTRACK and a bolted clamp is available as an alternative to using glue.

Available on reels cutting to length at the point of installation, FASTRACK enables machine builders to minimise both stock and lead-times. Measuring and cutting has been made simple, quick and easy by means of generous tolerances and a bench-mounted guillotine (also available from Renishaw). This versatility makes the linear encoder scale system suitable for large machines that need to be sectioned for transportation to their installation site: simply use separate sections of FASTRACK and allow the scale to run across the joins (the gaps can be up to 25mm), safe in the knowledge that the scale can be installed, removed and re-installed as many times as required.

The FASTRACK linear encoder scale system is suitable for many applications, such as FPD manufacturing machines, linear motors with aluminium substrates, P-V manufacturing, axes that are exposed to potential damage, large CMMs and other machines that require a scale to be installed/removed for transit, or simply for applications where thermal expansion of the scale must be independent of the machine structure.

As with all Renishaw encoders, the FASTRACK system is backed by a responsive global sales and support network. Like Renishaw's TONiC and RESOLUTE encoder systems, it also satisfies the highest environmental standards, with both WEEE and RoHS compliance.

Follow the link for more information about the FASTRACK linear optical encoder system.

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