Now available from Quality in Control , the Meterdrive linear incremental tape encoder is a high speed, long distance measuring and positioning system capable of measuring up to 500m at a reading speed of 10m per second. It is available in conventional linear encoder format or as an electronic tape measure.
This meter drive linear incremental tape encoder has a built in opto-electronic encoder that accurately counts the number of slots in the perforated stainless steel tape. As the tape is guided in the encoder by two pairs of high-density polyethylene tape guides, the tape cannot move incorrectly and therefore cannot lose step, as can be the case with other measuring systems.
Unlike conventional linear encoders however, the Meterdrive allows the user to stretch the stainless steel tape between two fixed points and does not need to be fixed accurately to a flat base, making it mobile.
It is also possible to use the tape with a pulley and counterweight, as a belt between two pulleys, or to move the tape through the fixed encoder, a solution that can be very beneficial for short distances, such as with pneumatic or hydraulic jacks.
The Meterdrive linear incremental tape encoder is particularly useful as a replacement for conventional chain arrangements and pulleys where roller slip or wear can cause loss of positioning when using rotary encoders. Inside the Meterdrive's encoder are four light-emitting diodes opposite four light receiving diodes. As the tape slides through the encoder the receiving diodes are covered and uncovered by the perforated tape, and the encoder emits two incremental 90º phase-shifted signals. If the tape perforations become obstructed by dirt particles of if the power supply is insufficient, a warning signal is emitted.
Water and shock resistance, absence of mechanical parts and direct reading via large tape perforations ensure that the system has excellent life and wear characteristics.
The output signal from Meterdrive linear incremental encoders can be used with any PLC or proprietary counter, however in order to use the high speed operation available with Meterdrive, counters and PLCs must have a counting frequency of 5kHz per channel for Z.201 encoders (1mm resolution) and 50kHz per channel for Z.301 encoders.
Key technical characteristics of Meterdrive linear incremental tape encoders include:
- infrared optical measurement
- polycarbonate, completely sealed, light, compact, robust case with no moving parts and unaffected by shocks and vibrations
- reading speed 10m/second
- protection IP 67
- power supply 10-30V DC
- working temperature of -20 to +60°C
- storage temperature of -40 to +85°C.