Incremental Encoder Conversion Kit reduces machine downtime

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Incremental Encoder Conversion Kit reduces machine downtimeSick (UK) is launching an Incremental Encoder Conversion Kit that helps users to replace failed incremental encoders as fast as possible, thereby minimising downtime. The kit comprises three standard Sick programmable incremental encoders, a handheld programmer, and electrical and mechanical accessories for interfacing and mounting the replacement encoder. Sick believes that this cost-effective, universal kit is unique in the market and has the potential to reduce downtime and the need to hold stocks of large numbers of different encoders to suit each application within a factory. In theory the kit can be used to replace thousands of different models of incremental encoder.

Darren Pratt, Sick's Encoder Product Manager, states: "Incremental encoders are vital in all fields of operating machinery in critical tasks. Speed, acceleration, distance and position are all affected. Programmable encoders have helped reduce specification difficulties for engineers, but there are still a large number of model variations, especially for older machines.

"The Sick Incremental Encoder Conversion Kit is designed to replace as many different types of incremental encoders as possible, whatever their origin, and thus reduce the requirement for manufacturers to hold specific stock."

Programmable encoders

Launched three years ago, the Sick DFS60 programmable incremental encoders have proven to be extremely versatile and popular. Three models of DFS60 encoder are included in the Incremental Encoder Conversion Kit, namely a hollow-shaft variant, a flange-mount model and a third for mounting on servo motors. These are rugged, IP65/IP67 optical encoders with metal (not glass) discs. The user can therefore select the encoder to suit the mounting style of the failed unit, safe in the knowledge that the replacement will be adequate for the application. A bellows-type shaft coupling is also included in the kit for connecting to standard motor shafts, and there is a selection of split collars so that the hollow-shaft encoder can be mounted on a variety of shaft diameters. For flange-mount encoders, there is a universal bracket that enables the Sick DFS60 encoder to be attached to the existing hole patterns on the machine.

Each of the three encoders in the kit is equipped with an industry-standard electrical connector. If the failed encoder does not use the same style of connector, then the kit's included cable can be used to connect from the encoder to a terminal box.

The new PGT-10-S handheld programmer enables users to configure the encoder in terms of pulses per revolution (from 1 to 65,536) and the output signal (TTL or HTL).

Darren Pratt says: "Although encoders are highly reliable, failure can lead to downtime costing thousands of pounds per hour, so engineers traditionally required specific replacements available for each variation used on plant; this could be hundreds of different models. Pressure to reduce the cost of holding spare parts has resulted in many plants being left without replacements even for machines critical to the process; in the case of older machines the original product may no longer be available."

Although the kit cannot guarantee to be suitable for every incremental encoder within a particular plant, the aim is to enable the vast majority of encoder failures to be rectified immediately. This avoids the need to hold vast stocks of spares and, in the case of a particular encoder not being held in stock, it results in considerably less downtime. Once elements of the kit have been used, they can be ordered as individual components and should be available on next-day delivery from stocks held in Germany.

Follow the link for more information about the DFS programmable incremental encoders. Alternatively, for details of the Sick Incremental Encoder Conversion Kit contact: Ann Attridge () or Andrea Hornby (), or telephone +44 (0)1727 831121.

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