Absolute Angle Encoders

November 01, 2010

Heidenhain Corp.'s recently introduced a new phase of its absolute angle encoders that is said to offer numerous advantages for today's machine tools. The angle encoders with integral bearing and hollow shaft provide reliable position and speed control through use on rotational axes such as on rotary tables, tilting axes and direct drives, and are often the encoders of choice when angle measurement in accuracy of a few angular seconds is required. Called the RCN 2000, RCN 5000 and RCN 8000 Series, these new angle encoders from HEIDENHAIN are characterized by their simple mounting and high accuracy.

Main new benefits include greater mounting tolerances, optimized new scanning, and evaluation electronics with diagnostic functions, plug-in cables with quick disconnect at the encoder, and a variety of hollow shaft diameters. The greater mounting tolerances now possible of these angle encoders are due to the better axial and radial deflection behavior, as well as the torsional rigidity, of the newly developed stator couplings. Together with a new sealing design on the encoders, relatively larger mounting tolerances are now possible without restricting the operational functions and accuracy.

Also thanks to the use of an innovative single-field scanning principle with a special optical filtering, this series of HEIDENHAIN angle encoders produces scanning signals of very high quality. The resulting position errors within one signal period are typically smaller by a factor of three to four compared to previous angle encoders. The scanning principle also contributes to a significant reduction in sensitivity to contamination. And with the new scanning and evaluation electronics, it has become possible to dramatically reduce the influence of the rotational speed on the generation of position values. This ensures that, even at high speeds, the scanning signals have high signal quality and continue to interpolate well.

And in contrast to previous units, these new HEIDENHAIN angle encoders feature a flange socket to which an adapter cable is attached. In instances where a normal screw-on connection is not practical, HEIDENHAIN offers a special quick disconnect system (push-pull solution) where the adapter cable is simply snapped on and off.