Incremental encoders are rotary automation components (angle sensors).
They are the first link in a chain of automation.
They exist in several technologies :
- In optical technology (the most common)
- In magnetic technology
- In inductive technology
Whatever the technology used, they provide an incremental signal processed by a PLC or a computer (processing unit) by counting up/ counting down the pulses generated by the incremental encoder.
The incremental encoder is mechanically integral with the drive axis (motor; machine tool axes; cable sensors; robots, etc.).
The output signals are pulse trains generally on 6 channels for counting up/down and 12 (6 + 6) if they are also used for phase commutations (U; V; W) of electric motors.