What is an encoder, how it functions?

What is an encoder?

In the field of electrical engineering, a device known as an encoder is a piece of equipment that is used to convert mechanical motion (or position) into an electrical signal. Encoders are a kind of device that are often used in motion control systems and robotics. Its primary purpose is to provide accurate feedback on the system’s location, speed, and direction.

How encoder functions?

The generation of a series of pulses or signals that may be decoded in order to identify the motion or position of a component that is mechanical in nature is the main function of an encoder. Encoders are used in a wide range of the applications. In most cases, the encoder is composed of a rotating shaft that has a pattern of slots (or) teeth on its surface, in addition to a stationary sensor that detects the location of the slots or teeth as the shaft rotates past the sensor. This allows the encoder to accurately track the position of the object being encoded.


Types of encoders

There are two basic kinds of encoders:

1). Incremental encoders and

2). Absolute encoders.

Incremental encoders are the more common kind. Absolute encoders provide a digital code that is unique to each location along the axis of rotation of the shaft, whereas incremental encoders generate a sequence of pulses that correspond to changes in position or motion.

Absolute encoders are more accurate than incremental encoders because they provide a unique digital code. Tracking the location of a spinning shaft requires the use of both analogue and digital encoders.

What is the use of an encoder in a motor?

Encoders convert mechanical motion into an electrical signal that the control system uses to monitor certain characteristics of the application and make changes as needed to keep the machine running as intended.

Why is an encoder needed in a VFD?

The encoder provides motor shaft speed/position feedback, which is communicated to the VFD current or speed controller, which adjusts the provided voltage and corresponding frequency to increase and decrease the speed & torque output of the attached motor.

What type of circuit is an encoder?

A combinational circuit known as an encoder does the opposite function of a decoder. It has ‘n’ output lines and a maximum of 2n input lines. It will generate a binary code that is identical to the current high input.

Advantages of an encoder

  • Reducing Costs,
  • Save Time,
  • Acquire Adaptability and
  • Improve Diagnostics and Condition Monitoring.

Application of an encoder

Encoders have a wide range of possible applications, some of which include robotics, computer numerical control (CNC) machines, motors, and automation systems. This list is not exhaustive. These components are necessary for accurately placing and directing the motion in various applications, which provides motion control that is accurate and repeatable.