An absolute encoder creates a unique position signal available anywhere along travel; its exact angle is reported when in power cycling mode.

What Are the Key Differences Between Absolute & Incremental Encoders?

While absolute encoders measure absolute or true angular position, incremental encoders measure the actual change in angular position. And unlike absolute, incremental encoders do not generate a unique signal. Instead, the encoder is zeroed after power-down and relies on another switch or encoder for initial reference. Incremental encoders also output a continuous flow of universal pulses. Whereas absolute linear encoders output particular words or bits for each position.

 How Are Absolute Encoders Used?

Absolute encoders are used for applications involving the monitoring and/or control of mechanical systems. Such as: 

  • Industrial robotics
  • Surgical robotics
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Photonics
  • Radiation therapy
  • Satellite communications
  • UAVs and ROVs
  • Microelectronics

Electromate supplies absolute rotary and linear encoders from the following companies:

Absolute Encoders Product Gallery: