Inmoco says it is setting a new benchmark for digital encoder technology, with the launch of the Mercury II from MicroE Systems. Designed for high-performance motion control applications, Mercury II is claimed to be superior to all other encoders in its class - in terms of performance, accuracy, versatility and ease of use. It provides resolutions ranging from 5um to 1.2nm linear, or 16k CPR to 268M CPR rotary; speeds up to 5m/s (at 0.1um resolution); and it offers the flexibility of one sensor for use with PurePrecision laser tape, glass linear and glass rotary scales.
Mercury II's exceptional performance is the result of its next-generation optical design and SmartPrecision II electronics. This combination enables 'best-in-class' speed, resolution and accuracy, all from a single encoder family. Supporting these performance claims, Mercury II operates at speeds up to three times faster than competitive encoders, offering, for example, a maximum speed at 0.1um resolution of 5m/s. In addition, users can set the interpolation level in integer steps for precise control.
Complementing its high-speed operation and excellent resolution, Mercury II is said to provide the highest accuracy with automatic signal optimisation and real-time signal processing algorithms. These ensure levels of accuracy previously only expected from fine-pitch glass systems. On short-travel systems with linear tape and glass scales, the accuracy levels are +/-70nm and +/-25nm respectively, while on longer travel systems the figure for tape is +/-5um/m, and as good +/-1um for glass.
Safeguarding the exceptional overall performance of Mercury II across the widest range of operating conditions is a highly robust system-wide design. Key to this is a completely new sensor that instantly compensates for signal variations, and provides resistance to contamination from oil, fingerprints and dust.
In addition, the digital output from the sensor offers 'best in class' noise immunity, and makes the Mercury II suitable for high PWM/EMI noise applications. As a result, cables up to 5m long can be run from the sensor, and 20m long from the interpolator to the controller.
No encoder is easier to use than Mercury II, according to Inmoco. Its low Z-height sensor - at just 8.7mm tall - fits where others cannot, and its broad alignment tolerances – a full +/-2 degrees - mean fast, easy sensor alignment. Additionally, bi-directional, stick-on optical index and limit markers make installation or customisation very easy. Finally, laser tape on 50m reels eliminates lead-time issues, making it both simple and quick to manufacture systems of any size.
Supporting Mercury II is SmartPrecision II, which is described as the most advanced software in the industry. Mercury II's pushbutton set-up does not require the use of the software; however, SmartPrecision II adds more functionality. It enables programmable resolution, encoder set-up, plus alarms and analysis using a variety of data plots. In addition, the facility for real-time monitoring from a web browser enables users to get diagnostic support from MicroE Systems, no matter where their equipment is located.