Jaw-Dropping Facts in Motion Control #1 & #2

May 6, 2020

jaw-dropping factsThis new column will present motion control technologies as jaw-dropping facts in order to highlight how incredibly far we have come in the world of encoders and controls, starting with some truly significant developments in the area of linear kit encoders.

By Kevin Kaufenberg, Business Development and Product Manager, Electronics Industry


By now, many of us thought we would have flying cars with 3-D traffic patterns, robots doing our cooking and cleaning, and hotels on the Moon or even Mars. Of course, as a civilization, we are working towards those fantastic ideas, but they are a bit delayed from our speculation on what 2020 would bring us. In the world of motion control feedback however, particularly with our encoders and controls, there are some pretty amazing technologies available to our customers now that are on par with these fantastic ideas.

Jaw-Dropping Fact #1

HEIDENHAIN’s absolute encoders provide a unique position value for every position, or in other words, every position on an absolute encoder is different. For our LIC 4100 encoder system, each position can be 1 nanometer, or a billionth of a meter which in the real world is 5 silicon atoms. These unique position values can continue for a graduation/scale that can be up to 28.4 meters long, thereby providing 28.4 BILLION unique position values across 1 long encoder.

Jaw-Dropping Fact #2

Our LIP 200 series encoders start with a 512-nanometer signal period, and that can be safely interpolated 16,382 times, yielding an end resolution of 31 PICOMETERS! That distance of 31 picometers, which translates to the width of a single water molecule, can be measured at a rate of 3m per second or as fast as you can run.


Want to learn more?

Contact us today

Related resources and news

Inductive vs. optical vs. magnetic encoders: how to choose

Where magnetic encoders use positive and negative poles and optical encoders use light passing through a disc, inductive encoders are a little more complicated. Inductive encoders have charged coils that are passed over by a passive disc, modulating what charges the sensor receives. There are only a few companies in the world that have the […]

Read more »

[VIDEO] Helping engineers imagine

Throughout our proud history of more than 125 years, we’ve always focused on the future. Since day one, research and development has been at the core of HEIDENHAIN’s mission. We’ve always worked to create technologies and capabilities that inspire the engineers of today and tomorrow. It’s an admittedly difficult goal–engineers are creative, they’re problem solvers […]

Read more »

Jaw-Dropping Facts in Motion Control #4 & #5

Continuing the story of how the motion control feedback industry is enabling technologies to perform absolutely incredible feats, today we focus on angle measurement. One usually does not encounter extreme angle measurement in their everyday life, but it is so important and fundamental to the way we live, explore and progress. Here is the third […]

Read more »