36mm absolute encoders set new industrial automation standard

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36mm absolute encoders set new industrial automation standard Sick is launching AHS36 and AHM36 absolute encoders, saying they set a new standard for 36mm absolute encoders in industrial automation where rugged construction, reliability and resistance to vibration are required.

These are the first 36mm absolute encoders to be introduced by Sick, yet the new products are claimed to be ahead of their class for versatility, compatibility and diagnostics for almost any application, not just industrial automation.

Darren Pratt, Sick (UK)'s encoder specialist, comments: "The AHS36/AHM36 encoders are Sick's new entry into the 36mm size market. They now set the benchmark way beyond what has been previously available in an SSI and CANopen-compatible encoder. That is why the Sick AHS36/AHM36 won the prestigious 2014 RedDot design award.

"Users can benefit from the class-leading features of the AHS36/AHM36 without the need for design changes to their OEM machinery. Uniquely versatile for easy installation almost anywhere, it can replace almost any competitive model on the market. This means that you only have to stock one model for rapid replacement of many encoders."

Versatile absolute encoder

The Sick AHS36/AHM36 features a 270-degree rotatable electrical connection for either M12 connector or cable termination, making cable positioning and installation easy, even in tight spaces. Simple replacement of existing encoders is ensured by a choice of hollow- or solid-shaft models in a large number of diameters, combined with face- and servo-mount flanges.

The versatility of the AHS/AHM36 is not just restricted to its mechanical characteristics; both SSI and CANopen designs are available as fully-programmable variants, enabling users to program both the resolution and the code that the encoder produces as its output. The number of turns can also be programmed to a non-integer value, which removes the risk of accumulation errors and reduces processing load on the PLC. This is particularly relevant for rotary axis applications such as turntable positioning.

CANopen-compatible models offer a choice of device profiles, CIA406 (V32/33) and application-specific profiles on request. In addition to providing position information, CANopen variants also provide speed information. This is teamed with advanced diagnostics that enable remote monitoring of parameters such as operating temperature, maximum speed, length of on-time and length of motion-time to facilitate maintenance scheduling of the machinery.

Vibration-resistant and reliable

Thanks to all-magnetic operation, the AHS36/AHM36 minimises vibration problems that affect optical-based encoders. The temperature range is -40 to +85degC for the CANopen variant and +100deC for the SSI variant, ensuring suitability for wide-ranging interior and exterior applications. Despite its compact dimensions, the AHS/AHM36 uses a geared pickup technology for long-term reliability, thereby eliminating the need to rely on a battery-buffered memory to store turn information.

Sick AHS36/AHM36 encoders are suitable for a wide range of applications where monitoring shaft rotation is essential for maintenance or automation control purposes. Sick expects the encoders will quickly find applications for industrial automation duties where their consistency and reliability under difficult high-vibration conditions ensure long life.

Darren Pratt adds: "The AHS36/AHM36 encoders have IP66 or IP67 environmental protection and a wide operating temperature range that enable them to record high-reliability rotation data under challenging industrial environments. Sick has moved the game on with the AHS36/AHM36 encoders, offering new standards of reliability to help machinery developers achieve new levels of performance."

Follow the link for more information about the Sick AHS36 and AHM36 absolute encoders.

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