When it comes to motion control, motor control is vitally important. An optical encoder makes precise motion control possible by impacting motor speed and position for increased efficiency. In this article, we’ll explore the role these photonic components play in motor speed and position. 


The optical encoder: an important photonic component 

The optical encoder plays a big role across applications, from assembly devices and robotics to machine tools and CMMs. Their role is to detect pulse signals and convert them into electrical signals. Overall, engineers across industries use them to improve accuracy and simplify the assembly process. Its main components all aid its motion control performance. These include: 


LED: A light-emitting diode, or LED emits light when an electric current passes through it. An optical encoder uses infrared or colored LEDs depending on the application. 


Lens: A convex lens helps collimate the light emitted by the LED. 


Code wheel: This disc with slits passes and blocks light emitted from the LED. Photo Solutions crafts code wheels in various materials from metal to glass, depending on the application. 


Photo sensor:  This is usually made of a semiconductor material like silicon. 


Role in motor speed and position  

When it comes to optical encoders’ role in motion control, they directly impact motor speed and position. In motor-driven systems, these components provide feedback in response to motor speed, impacting the “direction and position of the rotor.”


Encoder applications

The motion control industry is far-reaching. For all its many applications, precise motor speed and position impact efficiency and accuracy. Typical applications that use optical encoders to achieve this goal are: 


Assembly equipment: Assembly equipment uses automated processes for optimal efficiency. For example, factory and warehouse automation sensors can detect various sizes and weights of objects on a conveyor belt and an optical encoder can adjust as needed. 


Robotics: When it comes to engineered solutions like robotic arms, optical encoders ensure the “precise control of pressure and speed.” Photo Solutions clients like Kinova Robotics rely on these components to complete an accurate motion profile.  


Automated window shades: An everyday example of optical encoders controlling motor speed and position comes in the mechanism for automated shades. The components help users achieve the desired shade position.  


Trust Photo Solutions for your optical encoder needs

For over 30 years, our team of experts has created photonics configurations to our customers’ exact specifications. We know that optical encoder components are imperative to precise motion control operations, so we work with your team to create the most accurate components. Contact us for a free consultation.