What is the difference between absolute encoders and incremental encoders?

Incremental encoders measure the change and direction of motion. Absolute encoders provide absolute position feedback at any point in time. Incremental encoders need to go through a homing routine at start-up to locate the index, which is a zero position or “home”. The main track of the incremental encoder is detected to measure high resolution change in position. Absolute encoders do not need to go through a homing routine at startup, because a unique signal is detected at each location. Since absolute encoders require more complex sensor technology, it has higher latency than the incremental encoder that has zero latency.

For more information on our absolute encoders, view our Aura Series absolute encoders, and Zettlex inductive encoders.

Click for more information on our incremental encoders.

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