POSITAL-FRABA America (Hamilton, NJ) has introduced optical encoders with EtherCAT that provide high-speed data for positioning and speed control with cycle times of up to 62 μs. Using a distributed clock function, they allow users to synchronize axes with a deviation of <1 μs. The EtherCAT encoders support cable redundancy, so if special PLCs with two network cards are used, a maximum of one cycle is lost. A round axis functionality enables users to implement applications with non-binary gearing factors. The firmware can be updated through standard configuration tools such as TwinCAT. Other features include up to 16-bit resolution and 14-bit revolution, up to IP67 environmental protection, and optional stainless steel and explosion-proof housings.

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NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the August, 2014 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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