Renishaw is introducing a new generation of solid-state devices as a non-contact alternative to traditional potentiometers. These magnetic encoders provide a rising voltage output from a simple three-wire system to deliver the same functionality as a potentiometer but with virtually unlimited life, no wear and insensitivity to contamination. Renishaw says these devices offer the ease of use of a potentiometer but with none of the limitations.
Potentiometers provide low-cost, analogue position feedback with simple integration. However, they are subject to degradation of performance, or even failure, due to wear and contamination. A dirty or worn potentiometer can provide noisy, unreliable operation, requiring periodic replacement.
Renishaw's alternative, developed in association with its associate company RLS, is a range of magnetic encoder modules that provide a linear output voltage, proportional to the rotation angle (like a potentiometer) but without any physical contact. These devices can be protected to IP68 for outdoor or submerged operation. Furthermore, they are 100 per cent solid-state devices so they are insensitive to shock and vibration. They have no wipers, seals, bearings or other moving parts to wear out or become contaminated, resulting in excellent reliability. A small package size, and low cost, make the Renishaw digital pot encoder an excellent choice when looking for a higher-reliability alternative to traditional potentiometer feedback.
Follow the link for more information about Renishaw's new magnetic encoders.