Compact Mercury II encoder sensor design and cut-to-length Marker Tape provide printer manufacturer the flexibility to outfit various axis lengths with minimal number of stocked components.

The Challenge

The OEM customer needed a flexible and cost effective encoder solution for a line of high quality large format printers. The customer had been having quality issues with inconsistent performance from a competitor’s glass scales, and was looking for a more convenient metal tape scale solution for the required travels up to 4500mm.

The Solution

MicroE paired a standard configuration compact Mercury II series digital output sensor with 1µm resolution along with Marker Tape featuring an index every 50mm.  The multi-index Marker Tape can be supplied in dispenser of lengths up to 30 meters long (or cut to a specific length), making it ideal for OEMs that produce axes of various lengths.

The Benefit

The selected Mercury II sensor is a standard product, minimizing cost and lead time. The application calls for various long lengths of tape scale, and the ability to purchase up to 30 meters of tape on a reel allows the customer to stock just one scale part number. With indexes every 50mm, the customer can cut scales to length and have the index placed where needed.


Sensor Dimensions38.5 x 13.5 x 11mm
InterfaceDigital A-quad-B
Grating Period20µm
System Resolution1µm (5µm to 1.2nm available with MII5000)
Maximum Speed10 m/sec
Sensor Weight6g
Travel RequiredVarious, to 4500mm