Monday, May 7, 2012

Learn about absolute encoders

I don’t have any hard numbers, but I’m pretty sure most machine vision applications involve some motion. The most common such configuration is probably a conveyor transporting objects past a camera, and in these cases the camera can be triggered by a simple photodetector. However, more complex motion systems often require an encoder to track position.

If all that’s needed is to know the distance a part has moved, an incremental encoder may well be sufficient, but if you’d like to know where something actually is, (as I did in a recent application,) an absolute encoder would be really nice to have.

I didn’t know much about absolute encoders until I came across “Encoders, Decoded,” in the April 2012 edition of Quality Magazine. This isn’t an in-depth article but I found it provided an excellent overview, hence my desire to share it with you.

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