RLS (www.rls.si), a Slovenian motion sensing associate of Renishaw, has introduced the LinAce, a tough linear encoder that delivers ±5µm accuracy and full closed-loop control.
Designed to be integrated into pneumatic, hydraulic or electromechanical actuators, the encoder comprises a sliding read-head module and a solid steel shaft with an integrated cylindrical scale. It is highly resistant to shock and vibration since it has no internal moving parts. With lengths of up to 750 mm, the encoder’s shafts are offered in diameters ranging from four mm to 30 mm.
Under its hard chrome plated shaft surface, an absolute scale formed from compact circumferential grooves is filled with non-magnetic material such as copper or chrome, depending on the application. Since the scale is directly marked onto the actuator shaft, it provides a direct measurement of the shaft’s actual position, improving stability and repeatability while eliminating backlash and hysteresis.
With the passive scale and an operating temperature of between -40 and +85°C, the encoder is not affected by external magnetic fields and is immune from contamination by dirt. Extending around the shaft, the scale can also be rotated without losing position. The actuator’s operation is also not affected by the shaft’s hard and smooth outside surface.
Meanwhile, a module that integrates a custom-made ASIC with Hall-effect sensors reads the scale. The ASIC signals are processed to offer various industry-standard outputs, enabling the encoder to replace conventional current transducers or analog voltage, LVDTs and potentiometers. With resolutions ranging from 0.5 to 100µm, absolute positions are communicated through various protocols such as SPI, CAN, PWM, RS-422 and RS-485 asynchronous serial.