What are the precautions for maintenance of rotary encoders? Rotary encoders are used as speed and displacement feedback sensors, which are mainly applied in servo motors, asynchronous motors, stepper motors, elevator traction machines, and even mechanical shafts. These automatic control field platforms with speed and displacement information feedback ensure the high-precision and stable operation of the machine, thereby improving production efficiency and ensuring safe operation.

Absolute encoder belongs to rotary encoder. It is determined by mechanical position.
Absolute encoder does not need to record or to find reference point or to keep counting. You just read it to know the position. In this way, the anti-interference characteristics of the encoder and the reliability of the data are greatly improved.

To stabilize the daily operation of the absolute encoder, it is necessary not only to know how to use it, but also to pay attention to the daily maintenance during the use. Both of these are believed to be of great help in improving the use value of the absolute encoder.



a rotary encoder used in the industrial automation

Image 1: Rotary encoder applied in industry.

1. Maintenance Methods of Absolute Encoders

Multiturn absolute encoder 10-30V

Image 2: P+F PEPPERL+FUCHS Encoder DSM58I-F2AANR0BN-1213



* Regular inspection: Regular inspection is carried out on the mechanical part once a month, which is mainly the inspection of the mechanical connection point. The aim is to see if it is misaligned.

* Do not adjust electronic control equipment at will.
The power supply parameter of the electronic control equipment component is 380 volts, which is 160 volts higher than the general voltage of 220 volts. The normal use of the absolute encoder and the safety of personnel can be ensured when the operator does not arbitrarily adjust the equipment, especially the interlocking device.

* Regular replacement of hydraulic oil: Usually, the hydraulic oil is replaced twice every year. If the hydraulic oil has not deteriorated, it can be replaced once a year.

* Professionals required to operate electrical equipment: The absolute encoders need to be used with controllers, electronic control systems and other equipment. And these equipment with high power and different operating methods will cause damage to the body and electric shock. So the operation of electrical equipment must be maintained by professionals.




Video 1: Encoder maintenance of Yaskawa (Source from: RGB Elektronika on YouTube)

2. Precautions for Maintenance

* Check the mechanical part once a month to know if the mechanical connection and the matching part of the system are loose due to time running. Besides, check whether the connecting screw of the profile bracket is tightened.

* Check the mechanical connection points to see if they are misaligned; whether the steel wire rope is seriously damaged; whether the main winch is leaking; whether the meters, indicator lights, and safety devices are working properly. Frequently check the structural connection bolts, welded parts and structural parts for damage, deformation or looseness.

* The electrical components require 380V voltage. Untrained personnel must be prohibited to operate or open the control box, otherwise they will be electrocuted.

* It is not allowed to arbitrarily adjust the interlocking device of the electronic control equipment. Damage or move the position of each limit stop is prohibited.

* Do not adjust or replace all of the hydraulic components without permission of the competent authority.

* When the hydraulic system fails, no one except the maintenance department should be notified immediately to analyze the cause and eliminate it.

* When the hydraulic system is used for the first time, the hydraulic oil should be replaced every six months. If not, replace it every year.

* Regularly check the components and accessories of the hydraulic system.

* The encoder should be kept clean at all times.
After each operation, the soil on each glass of the cab should be wiped clean. The leaking processing surface should be coated with butter to prevent rust; each lubrication point should be filled with butter according to the requirements of the lubrication table; and the steel wire rope should be kept lubricated and clean.



Encoders are used with controllers, electronic control systems and other equipment. And these devices with high power, different operation methods of them, will not only cause damage to the machine, but also cause people a shock. Therefore, encoders are suggested to be maintained by professionals.

3. Future Encoders

What is the improvement in encoders sold in the market in the future?



* Enrichment of interface modes

* The size of the encoder will be reduced, the weight will become lighter, and it will be convenient to install

* Intelligent operation, not automatic operation

* Long service life. Frequent maintenance will not be required



Bourns PEC11H 11mm rotary encoders with high detent force

Image 3: Bourns PEC11H 11mm rotary encoder



In a word, to improve the use value of the encoder, it is of vital importance to note the daily maintenance during the use. If either operation or maintenance is not ensured, accuracy of the encoder signal conversion will not be guaranteed.