You are here

Absolute or Incremental - The Choice is Yours

by Eric Rice

TruCount™ multi-turn, absolute encoders are available on select StepSERVO™ Integrated Motors. There are numerous benefits of using multi-turn, absolute encoders in motion control, but you need not spend a fortune to get them. Simplified pricing on TruCount™ encoders makes the decision to purchase easy because there is no premium cost adder for them compared to the same integrated motors with incremental encoders.

Benefits of TruCount™ Encoders

TruCount™ multi-turn, absolute encoders reduce downtime by eliminating the need to home an axis at every power-up cycle of the machine. This is because each StepSERVO integrated motor equipped with a TruCount encoder tracks its position even when the machine is powered off. This is due to the novel technology used in TruCount encoders that harvests energy from even the slightest shaft movement, so that when the motor is powered off it can use that energy to keep track of the encoder position. This is done completely without batteries or external power sources.

TruCount encoders are currently available on select NEMA 23 and NEMA 24 frame StepSERVO Integrated Motors, with more frame sizes coming soon.

Application Examples

TruCount™ encoders are used in a wide range of motion control applications but are particularly well-suited for applications where it is critical for machine performance that accurate position of the motor shaft be tracked at all times. Applications like this include format change and setup axes on packaging equipment, bag opening mechanisms on automated baggers, rotary positioning tables, all manner of linear positioning axes, and many more.

Incremental encoders are often preferred in applications where motor position is not critical compared to an absolute physical reference point on the machine. Applications like this are often rotary and involve continuous or start-stop rotation in one or both directions. A good example is the indexing head of a pressure-sensitive labeling machine, in which the position of each label on the feed roll is sensed every index and is not related to its absolute position amongst all labels on the roll.

What Works Best for You

The table below lists the StepSERVO™ Integrated Motor part numbers currently available with TruCount™ encoders and their corresponding part numbers with incremental encoders. The price for each pair is the same, meaning your choice between absolute and incremental is simple: choose which is best for your application without worrying about paying a premium for the benefits of multi-turn, absolute encoder functionality.

Key Features StepSERVO™ Integrated Motors
w/ TruCount™ Encoders
StepSERVO™ Integrated Motors
w/ Incremental Encoders
Same Price**
Part No. Length* (in.) Part No. Length* (in.)
NEMA 23 frame
TSM23X3B-IP 5.26 TSM23X3G-IP 4.63 $737.00
NEMA 23 frame
TSM23X3B-R 5.26 TSM23Q-3RG 4.63 $635.00
IP65 rating
NEMA 24 frame
TXM24X3B-IP 5.84 TXM24IP-3DG 5.15 $1,078.00
IP65 rating
NEMA 24 frame
TXM24X3B-R 5.82 TXM24Q-3RG 5.15 $982.00

*The length of each StepSERVO Integrated Motor with TruCount encoder is slightly longer than its counterpart with incremental encoder due to the longer length of the TruCount encoder.

**Prices shown are list prices. For OEM and quantity discounts contact our sales team.

Still not sure which one to choose? For most applications we recommend choosing the part number with the TruCount™ encoder. If you end up not needing multi-turn, absolute functionality in your application you can simply switch it off in the Step-Servo Quick Tuner software to make the TruCount encoder behave as an incremental encoder.