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Multiturn Absolute Encoder With Energy Harvesting That Really Counts

Category: New Products

What if your Smart Phone came only as a land line?  Such a technology mismatch would definitely limit its capabilities.   Until recently, multiturn absolute encoders have suffered from a similar design disparity.

Since the 1970's, multiturn absolute encoders have been applied as a means of indicating absolute shaft position over the course of multiple revolutions.  However, while encoder sensor and signal processing designs have advanced greatly over the decades, turns-counting technology has remained archaic.  Manufacturers have been limited to costly, bulky, wear-prone gear trains, or batteries with shelf-life limitations and disposal issues.

The EPC Edge:

At Encoder Products Company (EPC) we decided it was time to bring turns-counting technology into the new millennium.  To that end, we incorporated a novel energy harvesting technology into our new Model MA36 series. 

M  Images MA36 36S Group 5

In a first for EPC, the MA36 features a magnetic sensor, rather than optical. It's a high-performance design that offers up to 14 bit single-turn resolution.  The magnetic sensor plays a major role in the turns-counting method.

During shaft rotation, the MA36's hall-effect magnet, rotates next to a special magnetically charged wire.  Regardless of rotation speed or direction, this motion produces a small charge that both powers the turns-counting circuitry and writes position data in a FRAM (Ferro-electric Random Access Memory) chip with immense storage capacity--allowing up to 40-bit mutiturn resolution.  It's all accomplished without gears, batteries or external power.

With this turns-counting technology, the encoder can be placed into a power-off state for months or years, and upon power up, it instantly provides accurate shaft position--even if rotations have occurred during power-off state.

Typical applications for the MA36 include Robotics, Telescopes, Antennas, Medical Scanners, Wind Generators, Elevators, Lifts, Motors, Automatic Guided Vehicles, Rotary and X/Y Positioning Tables and more.

We'll explore more features and benefits of the MA36 in a future post.

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