So you’ve decided to opt for a custom encoder disc for your design. This is a wise choice, as greater control over your encoder components’ specifications means your design allows for the most accuracy and precision—giving you a more effective encoder for your project needs. 

When it comes time to start building out your custom encoder disc, there are a few specifications you’ll need to know, so you get an accurate quote. Today we’ll take a closer look at those specifications and how they impact encoder performance and your overall design.

The Importance of Accurate Custom Encoder Disc Specifications 

Acquiring or building the components for your design may not feel like the most exciting part of the process, but it is a critical step to get right. Proper components like encoder discs can make or break the efficiency and effectiveness of your design. Even slight changes in these specifications can help you decrease the potential for faults or measurement errors from an improper encoder. 

Accurate specifications around material type and quantity are also necessary to know up-front for an accurate quote. So, to get your component manufactured quickly and accurately, it’s essential to have all the specifications ready when you request a quote. 

Encoder Disc Design Specifications 

When you request a quote from us, there are eight specifications we ask you to include: 

  • Disc outside and inside diameter (OD/ID)
  • Code track optical radius or diameter
  • Code track OD & ID or length of track
  • Index description(if needed)
  • Code track counts per revolution (CPR)
  • Material type
  • Quantity needed
  • Design files

The OD/ID for the disc and the code track, along with the code track radius/diameter, provide essential information about the size of your encoder disc. Larger encoder discs allow for a higher resolution, but the size is limited by the amount of space you have set aside for the encoder. At Photo Solutions, we can fabricate encoder discs in diameters from 5mm to 600mm.

The index description enables you to measure positional data with an incremental encoder. This works because the index marks allow the encoder to redetermine its position if power is lost. Of course, not all encoder applications need an index, but they can be a helpful safeguard in situations where positional data is essential, power is potentially unstable, or absolute encoders cannot be used. 

CPR is the encoder resolution or the smallest distance that the encoder can measure. Control over this measurement is one of the significant benefits of opting for a custom encoder disc, as off-the-shelf discs only come in standard CPR models.

Finally, we need to know the material type and quantity. At Photo Solutions, we can manufacture discs in Mylar (PET), soda-lime glass, or aluminum. Each material type has its unique benefits and drawbacks, so if you’re unsure which would work best, feel free to ask for a recommendation. It’s also important to keep in mind that we can create discs with minimum feature sizes of 5-10um depending on the material type, which could impact the max resolution available for your design. 

If you already have design files for your encoder, you can also include these. When providing these files, we prefer to work with Drawing Exchange Format File (DXF), DWG, and dimensioned PDFs.

Build Your Perfect Encoder Disc with Photo Solutions

Off-the-shelf encoder components shouldn’t limit your mission-critical designs. By choosing to opt for a custom encoder disc from Photo Solutions, you get to design the perfect disc to meet your unique needs. Our team of experts can help you bring your dream design to life. 

Check out this resource to learn more about our design specifications, and request your quote today.