Rotary Encoder FAQ

What is a rotary encoder?

Rotary encoders, also referred to as shaft encoders, are electromechanical devices that convert angular position or motion of a shaft to analog or digital output signals.


How do rotary encoders work?

Rotary encoders track motor shaft rotation to generate digital position and motion information. They translate mechanial rotational motion into an electronic signal.


When should you use a rotary encoder?

Rotary encoders can and should be used in any application that requires precise motion control. These applications can include servo motor feedback, robotics, and factory automation.


What’s the difference between absolute and incremental rotary encoders?

When it comes to the differences between absolute and incremental rotary encoders, there are a few key points to highlight:

  • Incremental encoders have output signals that repeat over the full range of motion
  • Absolute encoders have a unique value for each mechanical position
  • Incremental encoders are susceptible to environmental factors
  • Incremental encoders can lose resolution at high speeds