If you’re an OEM supplying essential integrations that propel bigger manufacturing systems, you know precision matters. At Photo Solutions, our custom optical encoder discs serve OEM applications from medical to metrology.  

Custom Optical Encoder Discs and OEMs 

Robotic surgery arms or drones are engineering advancements, but so are the components that power them. Your role as an OEM in reducing costs, coordinating parts, and applying them to larger engineering projects is integral to entire operations. 

That’s why, for over 30 years, Photo Solutions has served as a valuable partner to OEMs across verticals. As a custom shop, we can work with clients to design a custom optoelectronic component to exact specifications—down to 5mm. 

How We Support OEMs

Photo Solutions’ custom optical encoder discs fulfill myriad purposes for our OEM clients. Hardware and manufacturing represent a significant portion of our OEM clientele. Applications could be anything from motherboard discs and memory chips to encoder discs for drone sensors. In these mission-critical applications, precision ensures proper operation, safety, and efficiency. Although our encoder components represent just one small piece of the finished product, they serve an essential function. We work with our clients to manufacture custom components to exact specifications.

Comparing The Custom Optical Encoder Discs We Offer

Custom optical encoder discs are one of our specialties at Photo Solutions. From OEM applications to one-off special purpose designs, we have created various designs and form factors across industries. The following optical encoder discs range from 5mm to 600mm in diameter in various encoder materials, including glass, quartz, film, and aluminum.

Glass Encoder Discs

Glass discs are highly durable and able to withstand high temperatures and speeds. Due to their extreme flatness and the precisions of the etched photo pattern, they also offer the highest degree of accuracy. To create custom optical encoder discs with this material, we use CAD data with customer specifications to generate a high-resolution glass master from which we print the parts. Because we know customer needs range, these discs are available from 5mm to 300mm with a thickness ranging from .010” to .120.” 

Transmissive Mode Glass Discs

When OEM clients come to us for transmissive mode glass discs, they need something for high-performance applications. The standard disc configuration for these is soda lime glass with low reflective chrome (LRC) at 2.8 optical density. For sine wave applications, we even use ultra-flat quartz material, whereas, for high-temperature applications, we would use borosilicate glass.

Reflective Mode Glass Discs

In contrast to transmissive mode are reflective mode discs, which require high reflective chrome (HRC) coating (greater than 60 percent reflectivity). For these custom optical encoder discs, we include high reflective patterns with low reflective chrome on the backside of the discs to eliminate unwanted reflections. For high-performance projects, we can even gold coat these discs. 

Mylar Encoder Discs 

Often, OEM applications need discs that blend performance with affordability. Mylar discs are perfect for low-cost applications and offer production and prototype quantities savings. Our automated process prints discs on photographic PET film with a .18mm thick base. The vision recognition die punch equipment then cuts the ID/OD within .025mm of the pattern, which allows customers to static fit the disc to a hub and hold pattern. Depending on the application (and end-usage), we also offer peel-off liners to protect the optical surface during assembly. 

Reflective Mylar Encoder Discs

When needed, we can create Mylar discs with pressure-sensitive adhesive for easting mounting to customer devices. As with our other Mylar discs, we can provide peel-and-stick discs and scales with protective liners for easy installation, including bonding to acrylic substrates for increased thickness and stiffness. As with other custom optical encoder discs, the options available depend on the OEMs’ disc usage. 

Reflective Aluminum Encoder Discs 

Lastly, we offer aluminum discs for high-temperature applications that can withstand extreme environmental conditions. These are available in diameters up to 250mm. 

Industry Applications

Custom optical encoder discs allow us to suit the needs of a wide range of industry applications—from motion control to metrology. Photo Solutions has had over 30 years of working with clients across the globe to solve engineering problems with tiny but powerful solutions. 

We’re proud to serve the following industries—and the OEMs that power them: 

Motion Control

Motion control is a booming industry, predicted to increase to $22.84 billion by 2022. It’s also an industry with various applications, from biomedical engineering to aerospace fuel systems. At Photo Solutions, we supply encoder discs to OEM encoder companies, CNC machining, and assembly industries, creating engineering solutions such as warehouse robotics and driverless vehicles. 


Photonic technology like encoder discs has allowed advances in the medical field, such as effective ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent disease. Medical device OEMs require components with unmatched precision to help medical tools perform accurately for patients—something that could be a life-or-death scenario. 


Robots are becoming increasingly part of everyday life. Optical encoder discs play a significant role in the overall performance of robotic advancements, from autonomous vehicles to LIDAR. In this field, OEMs look for precision, efficiency, and highly-specified components. 


One of the biggest challenges when serving the aerospace industry is bridging the gap between complex aerospace equipment and the life cycles of optoelectronic components. As a result, OEMs in this industry look for low-maintenance custom optical encoders discs to increase efficiency in sensors and data converters. 


For OEM applications in the metrology industry, Photo Solutions provides optical encoder discs to help make measuring systems more accurate and automated. For optical metrology, our components have been incorporated into stationary and portable measuring devices. 

Let’s Work Together On Your Next Custom Optical Encoders Discs! 

We love the challenge of working with customer specifications, especially OEMs with wide-ranging industry needs. If you need precision and quality, our team is ready to help.