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.


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