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Zettlex has launched a precision angle encoder for use in harsh environments where electrical contacts, optical encoders or capacitive devices may be unreliable.

The Incoder device uses an absolute inductive measuring technique and is unaffected by humidity, moisture, condensation or dust.

Incoder has two components: a stator and a rotor, each shaped like a flat ring.

The large through-bore makes it easy to accommodate large through-shafts, slip rings, cables and so on.

The Incoder is aimed at a variety of applications including test and calibration equipment; rotary joints and gimbals; camera mounts; actuator servos and motor encoders; radar systems; light and heavy calibre weapons systems; antenna pointing devices and range finders; robotic arms and CNC machine tools; plus packaging and laboratory automation.

Mark Howard, general manager at Zettlex, said: ‘The Incoder device was designed to be flat with a low profile – so it makes life easier for design engineers when they are struggling with limited space.

‘For example, bearings, drive shafts or cables may need to be passed right through the space where traditional rotary encoders might sit.

‘This is where Incoder can provide engineers with technical advantages,’ he added.

The Incoder’s stator is powered, while the rotor is passive.

The stator contains all necessary power supply and signal processing electronics.

The electrical output from the stator shows the position of the rotor relative to the stator.

Howard said: ‘Because of the way we’ve designed the Incoder, there is no requirement for couplings or gears between the main shaft and the encoder.

‘The rotor and stator can simply be screwed directly to the host product.

‘Precise mechanical mounting is not required and there is no need to align bearings,’ he added.

In harsh environments, Incoder is unaffected by condensation or dust.

Robust aluminium alloy housings and monolithic constructions are used for both rotor and stator.

With the Incoder, there are no contacting, delicate or wearing parts, which means no periodic replacement, servicing or maintenance.

‘Incoder already has a track record in safety-related applications, including airborne equipment, military manned and unmanned vehicles and weapons systems,’ said Howard.

‘The Incoder works in a similar way to a resolver.

‘However, Incoder uses laminar windings rather than wire spools, which enables higher measurement performance, a more compact design, low mass and low inertia.

‘The Incoder will even survive temporary immersion in salt or fresh water to a depth of up to 10m,’ he added.

Incoder is available with outside diameters from 75mm (INC-75) up to 250mm (INC-250), although other sizes are available as custom OEM versions.

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