Development of the Battery-Free Multi-Rotation Absolute Mechanical Encoder stepper motor

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Development of the Battery-Free Multi-Rotation Absolute Mechanical Encoder stepper motor

In recent years, greater accuracy, better reliability, and safety are demanded of motors, especially motors used in critical positioning applications. Such systems typically utilize servo motors with encoder feedback along with battery backup, allowing it to perform closed loop absolute control. From these requirements, a battery-free, multi-rotation absolute mechanical encoder was developed. The AlphaStep AZ Series, a closed loop system, adopted this type of sensor and is currently on the market today.

Oriental Motor has created a product that retains positioning information, even when the main power supply is suddenly turned off. With this ability built-in, retaining information within the system allows for a reduction of sensors and improves reliability. Also incorporated into this system is the ability to monitor the motor and also the driver along with standard features for safety. Historically, the structure of a mechanical sensor is very complex. They were expensive and large in size. For these reasons, the mainstream sensor, even today, is the battery backup system, which are common in absolute systems.With battery based systems, the retention period of positioning information after losing the main power supply depends heavily on the capacity of the battery. Battery maintenance is also an issue as batteries wear out, need to be replaced and disposed of properly. The solution to these problems is now found in an robust, highly reliable system that provides feedback regardless of the time the power has been turned off, for example in a safety situation or transporting the equipment overseas. This feature eliminates the need for batteries, additional sensors, complicated wiring and provides the confidence for long term service needed in today’s advanced equipment.

Oriental Motor started designing the mechanism that employs high-precision resin parts, while focusing on the aspect of a compact body. By incorporating the magnetic sensor, which has rapidly progressed in recent years, Oriental Motor has successfully developed a multi-rotation absolute encoder that is compact and affordable (patent pending). This is called the "Mechanical Absolute Encoder" (Refer to Figure 1), and it is featured on the AZ Series motor and driver combinations and is part of geared or actuator solutions.

The AZ Series equipped with the newly developed Mechanical Absolute Encoder allows for the battery-free multi-rotation absolute system to be used. It contributes to cost reduction of the overall equipment for users by eliminating an external sensor and maintenance costs. The AZ Series is capable of monitoring driver and motor information and relaying the information when requested. This contributes to scheduled maintenance minimizing costly down time.

To learn how the AZ Series can benefit you, contact our Sales or Technical support team for sizing, testing, or other requirements you may have.

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