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Glossary

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Absolute Encoder Technology Absolute rotary encoders are capable of providing unique position values from the moment they are switched on. This is accomplished by scanning the position of a coded element. All positions in these systems correspond to a unique code. Even movements that occur while the system is without power are translated into accurate position values once the encoder is powered up again.
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Analog Interface Analog interfaces can be cost effective for simple control systems. Using point-to-point wiring, they are easy to implement for small networks (1-5 sensors). Analog installations are common in applications like vehicles, medical equipment and energy management.
ATEX (ATmosphere EXplosible) ATEX-certified rotary encoders are designed to operate safely in atmospheres where there are potentially dangerous levels of explosive gases or dust.
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Blind Hollow Flange Blind Hollow Shaft Flanges (aka Hub Shafts) are designed so that the shaft does not pass completely through the encoder but rather resides inside the housing. clamping rings and set screws are used to mount the encoder on the shaft. Various anti-rotation tether options allow easy assembly to any motor or machine frame.
Binary Code (SSI) Data representation that is most commonly left aligned. It starts with the MSB, which is the highest bit for a multiturn encoder. More
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CANopen Interface CANopen is a Fieldbus protocol using CAN networks and CANopen Lift is a protocol for elevator applications.
CANopen Lift Interface CANopen Lift is a fieldbus protocol for elevator applications. It is similar to CANopen and based using CAN networks.
CANopen Safety The CANopen Safety framework for safety-relevant communication is an add-on to the CANopen application layer and communication profile.
Configuration Box UBIFAST The UBIFAST configuration tool is used to configure the various parameters available in our IXARC programmable encoders.
Cable Connection Type POSITAL encoders are available with cable exit in axial or radial direction with different cable lengths and different cable materials like PUR or PVC.
Connector Connection Type POSITAL encoders are available with a wide range of different connectors in axial or radial direction.
Connection Cap Connection Type Connection caps are a common solution for encoders with with fieldbus or Ethernet interface. Connection caps are suitable for daisy chain cabling and allow a convenient electrical installation and configuration.
Conflict Minerals Conflict minerals are minerals mined in conditions of armed conflict and human rights abuses, notably in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, by the Congolese National Army and various armed rebel groups, including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda.
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Communication Interfaces Given the wide range of applications that come under heading “motion control”, there is clearly no single best solution for all problems. Industrial Ethernet offers advanced features that are extremely valuable to designers of large, complex factory systems. However, for smaller, more self-contained applications, simpler technologies such as fieldbus (CANopen, PROFIBUS) or point-to-point wiring (SSI, Bit-Parallel, or even Analog) have a place. POSITAL position and motion sensors, including IXARC rotary encoders, TILTIX inclinometers and LINARIX linear position sensors are available with a full range of communications interfaces .
Clamping Flange Clamp flanges are the most versatile in assembly (i.e. clamping, use of front tapped holes, clamping discs). Clamp flanges can be installed in a variety of ways including flange adapters and mounting brackets . These typically have higher shaft loads available for applications. More
CE CE marking is a mandatory conformity mark for all products sold on the European market. With the CE marking POSITAL declares that the product conforms with essential requirements of the applicable EC directives.
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Document Archive POSITAL provides a discontinued encoder guide with all current cross references.
Discontinued Products Discontinued products are not available for purchase any more. We list the recommended products for replacement when possible.
DeviceNet DeviceNet is a fieldbus system based on CAN networks and CIP protocol. DeviceNet is managed by ODVA, widely used in factory automation and available on many PLCs.
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EtherNet/IP EtherNet/IP is an industrial communication protocol developed by Rockwell Automation and managed by ODVA. It is based on CIP and TCP/IP protocol.
EtherCAT EtherCAT is an open high performance Ethernet-based Fieldbus system. EtherCAT require short data update times with low communication jitter and low hardware costs.
Explosion Proof Sensors POSITAL explosion proof sensors are designed to operate safely in atmospheres where there are potentially dangerous levels of explosive gases or dust. The IXARC ATEX-certified encoders have been certified in compliance with IECEx and ATEX directives and utilize optical or magnetic technology.
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Fieldbus Interfaces Fieldbus networks were developed for vehicle, work cell and factory automation systems. Applications range from conveyors and manufacturing facilities to mobile equipment, medical equipment, wind turbines and solar panels. These networks are based on a bus topology, which simplifies wiring for systems with a significant number of devices. They also support powerful diagnostic tools to help with system setup and trouble-shooting.
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Flange Diameter POSITAL offers different flange diameters 36 mm (ø 1.42") to 78 mm (ø 3.07"). More
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Gray Code (SSI) Encoder Data is sometimes represented in Gray Code . In this code a representation called “Tannenbaum - format” is still quite common. In this representation the first 12 bits represent the multiturn data (revolutions), the second 13 bits represents the singleturn data. The data is centered to the 13 Clk cycle.
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Heavy Duty Sensors Heavy Duty IXARC encoders that can withstand high shock loads (up to 300 g). These sensors feature extra rugged impact-resistant Type 316L stainless-steel or aluminum housings and seals rated to IP67.
Hybrid Encoder Rotary encoders that combine incremental and absolute rotation measurement capabilities in a single, compact package.
Hall Effect The Hall-Effect based sensor system is the singleturn stage of the absolute encoders. However, it does not enable the encoder to count revolutions if the external power supply is disconnected. More
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Incremental Interface Incremental encoders generate an output signal each time the shaft rotates a certain amount. The number of signals per turn defines the resolution of the device.
IP Rating The IP (Ingress Protection) rating system is published by the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and classifies the degree of protection that the enclosure provides against solid objects and liquids in order to operate the enclosed electrical equipment.
IP54 Protected against dust and splash water from any direction.
IP65 Dust tight and protected against water jets from any direction.
IP67 Dust tight and protected against temporary immersion up to 1 m.
IP68 Dust tight and protected against long periods of immersion under
pressure.
IP69K Dust tight and protected against high temperature (steam) and high
pressure water jets from any direction.
Interbus Interface Interbus is a fieldbus technology developed by Phoenix Contact. Is has been popular in automotive production plants. It can be based on different electrical networks and fiber optics.
Industrial Ethernet Interfaces While it shares core technology with ‘office’ Ethernet, Industrial Ethernet systems incorporate special hardware and software aimed at providing ‘industrial-strength’ ruggedness and performance. Industrial Ethernet supports larger and more complex networks. It also enables seamless connections between the factory network (Industrial Ethernet) and the enterprise network (office Ethernet) which can simplify the integration of production, inventory control and enterprise management systems.
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J1939 Interface SAE J1939 is a Fieldbus standard used for communication by the car and heavy-duty truck industry.
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Kit Encoder POSITAL’s contact free measurement technology has no moving parts and is highly resistant to shock and vibration. POSITAL’s kit encoders are available with several non-proprietary electrical interfaces including BISS and SSI for absolute measurements. Additional protocols based on the RS485 interface can be implemented.
Kit Control Box POSITAL'sKit Control Box can program kit encoders for important performance parameters such as the number of pulses generated per revolution, without requiring any changes to the mechanical or electrical components.
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Life Cycle Our product life cycles are broken into three categories. Established: These products are well established in the market for at least a year. Discontinued: Discontinued products are not available for purchase any more. We list the recommended products for replacement when possible. Prototype: Products in prototype phase are in the final stages of development and will be released soon.
Linear Sensor Technology LINARIX draw wire sensors measure linear motion by displacing a retractable steel wire wound around a cable drum that actuates the rotary encoder coupled to it. The encoder then provides a proportional output. Measurements are highly accurate, reliable and the systems have very long lifetimes.
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Magnetic Technology Magnetic technology provides a compact, robust and cost-efficient angular sensing using an innovative multi-turn technology and a Hall-sensor . A magnet attached to shaft is providing magnetic field that is rotating when the shaft is turned. A Hall sensor is used to detect the shaft position within the range of 360 degrees. A proven smart multiturn technology without battery measures the number of revolutions using Wiegand wire technology, FRAM storage and low power electronics.
Modbus Interface Modbus is a serial protocol managed by the Modbus Organization .
Measurement Range (Inclinometers) POSITAL TILTIX Inclinometers have either ±80° (Dual Axis) or 360° (Single Axis) measurement range.
MEMS Technology Inclinometers, also called tilt sensor, clinometers or slope sensors are measuring the angle of an object with respect to the force of gravity. Due to the progress in manufacturing Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS), these kind of sensor became mass market products, with an excellent performance/cost ratio.
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Multiturn Multiturn encoders provide a measurement range of more than 360 degrees by additionally measuring the number of revolutions. The output signal is based on the number of revolutions as well as on the shaft position within one turn.

Example: The output signal/value after 3.5 turns (starting from zero) will be 7 times higher than the output after the first half turn.
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Optical Technology Optical technology is used by POSITAL since 1963 and provides maximum resolution and accuracy by scanning the position of a coded material. The position within 360 degrees is measured using a code disc, infrared LED light and an Opto-ASIC. The number of revolutions is measured with a mechanical gearing. This gearing includes coded gearwheels and LEDs to detect the gearwheels position.
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Output Driver Today most incremental encoders have a Push-Pull (HTL) or RS422 (TTL) output driver, these have replaced most of the older output circuits like Open Collector NPN, Open Collector PNP, Voltage Output.
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Protection Class The IP (Ingress Protection) rating system is published by the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and classifies the degree of protection that the enclosure provides against solid objects and liquids in order to operate the enclosed electrical equipment.
Parallel Interface Parallel interfaces can provide very high-speed communications over short distances but require bulky cables with individual wires for each bit. All bits of the position output are transferred simultaneously using one line for each bit.
Profibus Interface Profibus is available on many PLCs and one of the most common fieldbus technologies in factory automation and other areas. It is based on RS485.
Profinet IO Interface PROFINET is an Industrial Ethernet standard from „PROFIBUS&PROFINET“ International designed for automation.
Programmable Encoders Programmable encoders have proven to be popular over the past several years since the measurement characteristics of the device (number of pulses per rotation, output level, etc.) can be modified through a software update without requiring any changes to physical components.
Push-Pull (HTL) Push-Pull (HTL) circuits, also known as Totem Pole, provide a signal level which corresponds to the applied supply voltage. The supply voltage typically ranges from 8 to 30 VDC.
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With proper connections you can use the Push Pull interface to replace true open collector circuits by using an external diode connected in a way to limit the direction of the current for.
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Powerlink Interface ETHERNET POWERLINK is a real-time communication system based on Ethernet networks and managed by EPSG.
Pulse diagram incremental_pulse_diagram_small
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Pulses per revolution (PPR) An incremental rotary encoder outputs a certain amount of Pulses per Revolution. The higher this PPR number, the smaller the angle between each pulse. This PPR number is fixed for ordinary incremental encoders. Programmable incremental encoders can adjust this value to a desired number by a software change.
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Resolution Resolution is the smallest angular movement of the shaft that the encoder can detect.
RS422 (TTL) RS422 (TTL) circuits provide a constant 5 V signal level that is not dependent on the supply voltage. Two supply voltage ranges can be selected: From 4.75 to 5.5 VDC (can be used to replace open collector output drivers) or from 8 to 30 VDC. Using differential signals the output fully complies to the RS422 standard.
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The differential outputs have the highest frequency response capability and the best noise immunity. To ensure this the receiver should also be a differential.
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Revolutions Multiturn encoders provide a measurement range of more than 360 degrees by additionally measuring the number of revolutions. The output signal is based on the number of revolutions as well as on the shaft position within one turn.
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SSI Interface SSI is a widely used serial interface with point-to-point connection between PLC/Master and encoder. It is based on the RS422 standard.
SIL Safety Certificate SIL (Safety Integrity Level) is defined as a relative level of risk-reduction provided by a safety function. In accordance with the requirements of IEC 61508/EN 62061, PL e and Cat.4 according to EN ISO 13849-1, POSITAL product variants OCSxxx and MCSxxx are suitable for the use in safety applications up to SIL 3 and PL e. More
Singleturn Singleturn encoders are providing a measurement range of 360 degrees (one turn). When the shaft of the encoder is turned by more than 360 degrees, output characteristics in subsequent turns will be equal to the first turn.
Square Flange Square flanges are the most common flanges in the US and are extremely efficient to mount. These square flanges are offered in the common 2" and 2.5" sizes with several shaft options.
Syncro Flange Synchro flanges were originally designed for use on motors and gearboxes. They are more compact than a clamp flange. Synchro flanges can be installed with clamping discs or directly onto the face with fastening threads.
Serial Interfaces Serial interfaces use point-to-point wiring systems, but with a digital interface that connects directly to digital PLC’s or microcontrollers. They offer good speed, high resolution, flexible cabling and reliable communication over distances up to a few hundred metres.
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Solid Shaft POSITAL provides a wide range of solid shaft solutions including clamp, syncro and square flanges. Various metric and inch diameters as well as flats and keys are also available for solid shafts.
Shaft Diameter POSITAL offers different shaft diameters from 6 mm (ø 0.24") to 15 mm (ø 0.59").
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Through Hollow Shaft Through Hollow options are also available through POSITAL's portfolio. With this kind of design, the shaft completely passes through the body of the encoder.
TTL Incremental Interface RS422 (TTL) circuits provide a constant 5 V signal level that is not dependent on the supply voltage. Two supply voltage ranges can be selected: From 4.75 to 5.5 VDC (can be used to replace open collector output drivers) or from 8 to 30 VDC. Using differential signals the output fully complies to the RS422 standard.
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UL Certificate UL (Underwriters Laboratories) is a US based consulting and certification company providing safety standards for electrical devices. UL marking confirms the compliance with applicable UL safety standards. All POSITAL products that are UL listed can also be seen on the official UL website.
UBIFAST Configuration Tool The UBIFAST configuration tool is used to configure the various parameters available in our IXARC programmable encoders.
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Wiegand Technology Wiegand effect technology employs the unique magnetic property of specially processed, small ferromagnetic wire. John Wiegand discovered a way to cause the magnetic field of this specially processed wire to suddenly reverse. When the magnetic field of this wire, called a Wiegand Wire, is reversed a sharp uniform voltage pulse can be generated. The pulse is referred to as a Wiegand Pulse.
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Z Signal Some incremental encoders output a “Z” signal. Once every rotation, this Z signal is rising for typically 90°, on the exact same position. This can be used as an accurate reference point.