encoders: its importance in a system of measurement
One of the industrial sector’s main goals is the production of components of various shapes and sizes which are combined with each other, following very precise criteria and rules, so that necessary items in all sectors, such as the encoder, can be produced.
To this end, plants capable of manipulating materials, such as marble, glass, wood, metallic, plastic and synthetic materials etc., and assembling other components to produce semi-finished or finished products, are indispensable.
Such systems must be provided with process control cycles and inspections. “Precision” or error is a fundamental parameter of every system: it has to be considered for any assessments and operations to be performed.
A material-processing plant needs a system of measurement which can at any one moment check that the work in progress is moving towards the desired product whilst consistently meeting the requirements set by the designer.
In systems involving metric sensors, the most sensitive and extremely important role is that undertaken by “Position Transducers” or encoder.
Encoders provide the control unit with the size measured; the control unit will in turn use this value to check the dimensions of the object being manufactured at, for example, a certain temperature and it will also check that it is being properly manufactured.
Thus, it is obvious why an encoder’s role is so important in a plant: the precision of the finished product depends to a large extent on the measurement it provides.
Much care should be exercised by the plant designer.
The encoder must be carefully and prudently chosen and the following factors must be taken into account:
- Mechanical errors (transmissions, ratios, play etc.);
- Precision to be obtained;
- Type of measurement to be made: relative or absolute;
- Environmental, electrical and mechanical stresses;
- Electrical/electronic connection type and mechanical coupling;
- Mechanical rotation speed and counting frequency.
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