An angle encoder is a form of position sensor that measures the angular position of a rotating shaft. Most angle encoders use optical technology, where a disk-shaped rotor has an optical grating which co-operates with an opto-electric sensor on the stator. Optical technology depends on tightly constrained rotation of the rotor relative to a stator, therefore most angle encoders include bearings to keep the two parts concentric.
Zettlex IncOders are bearingless inductive angle encoders. An IncOder’s rotor is completely free to rotate relative to the stator, and some axial or radial misalignment is permissible without measurement accuracy being affected. Typically, the bearings that are already present in the host system are more than adequate.
Eradication of bearings from the encoder offers a number of important technical advantages over traditional optical encoders most notably no requirement for tightly toleranced bearing alignment. The lack of contacting or wearing parts means that there is no need for periodic replacement, service, or maintenance, and the mean time between failures is greatly increased. As there are no bearings, IncOders offer a low start-up torque, and there is no heat generation from friction at high speed. The rotor and stator can be directly mounted to host equipment without the need for special couplings or other mounting equipment.
Fig.1. Zettlex angle encoders are bearingless – the rotor is completely free to move relative to the stator, and some axial or radial misalignment is permissible.