Encoder strip

Encoder strip” is a linearly shaped scale that is incorporated into an encoder device detecting the position of a linear axis and outputs position information.

The strip has a scale called “bar“.
The bar is engraved on the linear scale, and the encoder device reads its data to precisely control the position movement.

We can customize specifications such as the bar width, pitch width, tolerance, and accuracy when manufacturing an encoder strip to suit your needs.

The processing materials range from PET film, metal, and high-precision metal, and we can propose the most suitable material according to the application, accuracy, and price.

1.1 Usage

OA equipment, Machine tools, Measuring instruments

1.2 Product Features

  • Material: Metal, PET film, Resin
  • Applicable encoder: Incremental type/absolute type
  • Style: Transmission type/reflection type
  • Resolution: 150LPI/180LPI/300LPI/360LPI
  • Combined processing: Reinforcement plate, double-sided tape, water-repellent processing (only for film)

1.3 Types of encoder strips

  1. PET film type (Transmissive/Reflective styles)
  2. PET film type for long linear scales (Transmissive/Reflective styles)
  3. Metal type (Transmissive style)
  4. Hybrid type – high precision metal (Transmissive/Reflective styles)
  5. Mirror black type (Reflective style)
  6. Polycarbonate type (Transmissive/Reflective styles)
  7. Long linear scales (Transmissive/Reflective styles)

Click on each link above for more details.

A. PET film type (Transmissive/Reflective styles)

Manufacturing Method: Die-cutting film sheet

This type of product is manufactured by forming fine patterns on PET film sheet material and press processing.

Mass production at low cost is available.

Technical features

  • Minimum bar width: 0.02 mm
  • Pitch tolerance: ±0.002 mm
  • Bar width tolerance: ±0.003 mm
  • Size change coefficient to temperature: 18µm/m°C (1.8×10-3%°C)
  • Size change coefficient to relative humidity: 10μm/m (1.0×10-3%RH)
  • Reflective style: Aluminum deposition
  • Reflectance: Over 60%(High reflective type)/Less than 10%(Low reflective type)

B. PET film type for long linear scales (Transmissive/Reflective styles)

Manufacturing Method: Die-cutting film sheet

We manufacture long linear scales with a total length of 3m class (minimum slit width is 0.04mm).

Even if you need the product with a slit width of less than 0.04mm, don’t hesitate to contact us.

C. Metal type (Transmissive style)

Manufacturing method: Etching SUS or other metals

This type of product is manufactured by Photo-etching on stainless steel (SUS) material.

This product is not the best choice for high resolution applications, but it can be produced at a relatively low cost.

Technical features

  • Base material: SUS304 planarity sheet processed by photo-etching
  • Minimum bar width: 0.08 mm(Minimum slit width is plate thickness × 150%) If you need less than 0.08 mm, please contact us.
  • Pitch tolerance: ±0.003 mm

D. Hybrid type – high precision metal (Transmissive/Reflective styles)

Manufacturing method: Precise etching on nickel clad material

This type of product is manufactured by etching a nickel clad material (Ni-Cu-Ni patented material) developed for industrial encoders.

Our etching technology used to make this product has succeeded in achieving dimensions and accuracy that were not possible with conventional etching processes.

 Etching Dimension accuracy list (Transmissive style)

Thickness (t), mm Minimum diameter (D), mm Tolerance, mm
0.04 0.040 ±0.008
0.06 0.050 ±0.008
0.08 0.060 ±0.008
0.10 0.075 ±0.008
0.15 0.150 ±0.01
0.20 0.200 ±0.015
  • The standard for the minimum slit size D is 75% of the plate thickness. (Transmissive style)
  • In the case of t=0.15 mm and 0.20 mm, plate thickness is 120% of t. (Transmissive style)

Etching Dimension accuracy table (Reflective style)

Thinkness (t), mm Minimum diameter (D), mm Tolerance, mm
0.07 0.04 ±0.008
0.10

Technical features

  • Minimum bar width(Transmissive style): 0.04 mm (in the case of t=0.04 mm) 
  • Minimum bar width(Reflective style): 0.04 mm (in the case of t=0.07 mm or 0.1 mm)
  • Minimum bar tolerance: within 0.008 mm
  • Pitch tolerance(Transmissive/Reflective style): within 0.003 mm/within 0.005 mm
  • Coaxiality: within 0.01
  • Inner diameter accuracy: ±0.008 mm
  • Reflectiveness(High reflective type): Over 60 % 
  • Reflectiveness(Low reflective type): Less than 10 % 

Other features

  • Our unique hybrid material enables high precision and high accuracy etching process.
  • Compared to the conventional etching method, the bar shape is sharper and the pattern reproducibility is higher, making it suitable for absolute types.
  • Reflective types have a high contrast between reflective and non-reflective area. 
  • Reflective types are less susceptible to humidity than film products.
  • Encoder strips with the length of up to 600 mm are available.

E. <Patented> Mirror black type (Reflective style)

Manufacturing method: Etching metal + Low reflection black treatment

The patented and trademarked “Mirror Black®” is a reflective encoder scale made of SUS material with high-precision etching and low reflection black treatment.

This type of product has high resolution and excellent light/dark ratio (SN ratio), and provides the same performance as glass scale at a lower cost.

Technical features

  • Pitch tolerance: ±0.001 mm
  • Bar tolerance: ±0.003 mm
  • Minimum bar width: 0.04 mm (If you need a bar width of less than 0.04 mm, feel free to contact us.)
  • Light-Dark ratio: over 65 %

Other features

  • We realize high SN ratio, combining high reflectivity by SUS mirror finishing and low reflectivity by our unique matte black treatment.
  • Flat structure achieves minimized unevenness of the bar pattern, leading to minimal signal noise.

F. Polycarbonate type (Transmissive/Reflective styles)

Manufacturing method: Stamping polycarbonate material

This type of product is manufactured by applying a thin film etching process to a polycarbonate substrate.

This product offers the same level of performance as glass encoder scales at a lower cost.

Technical features

  • Heat resistance: 120 ℃
  • Contrast ratio: At least 70 % (Reflective type)

Other features

  • This product has an excellent impact resistance and is resistance to cracking.
  • This product has non-transparent bars made of aluminum.

Please contact us about transparent type.

Summary

Type\Specification Material Minimal Bar width, mm Bar width tolerance, mm Pitch tolerance, mm
Film
(Transmissive style)
PET 0.02 ±0.003 ±0.002※
Film
(Reflective style)
PET 0.02 ±0.002 ±0.002※
Metal
(Transmissive style)
SUS 0.08 (in the case of t=0.05) ±0.015 ±0.003
Hybrid
(Transmissive style)
Ni-Cu-Ni 0.04 (in the case of t=0.04) ±0.008 ±0.005
Hybrid
(Reflective style)
Ni-Cu-Ni 0.04 ±0.008 ±0.005
Mirror black
(Reflective style)
SUS 0.04 ±0.003 ±0.001
Polycarbonate
(Reflective style)
Aluminum
+Polycarbonate
0.01 ±0.003 ±0.002
Type Function
Film (Transmissive/Reflective styles)

Size change coefficient to temperature: 18µm/m°C(1.8×10-3%°C)

Size change coefficient to relative humidity: 10μm/m(1.0×10-3%RH)

Aluminum vapor deposition type with 60% or more of high reflection, 10% or less of low reflection (Reflective type)

Metal (Transmissive style) Good corrosion resistance and durability
Hybrid (Transmissive style)

High accuracy and high resolution

60% or more of high reflection, 10% or less of low reflection (Reflective type)

Mirror black (Reflective style)

High accuracy, high resolution, good dark/light ratio, good SN ratio

60% or more of high reflection, 10% or less of low reflection (Reflective type)

Polycarbonate (Transmissive/Reflective styles)

Heat resistance:120°C
Light to dark ratio: 70% or more

78% or more of high reflection, 10% or less of low reflection (Reflective type)

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