An incremental encoder engineered for metrology: Introducing ATOM DX™


We’re enhancing our range of open optical
encoders with the introduction of the new ATOM DX™ encoder series. The ATOM DX is Renishaw’s smallest incremental
optical encoder with digital output down to 2.5 nanometres direct from the readhead. Positional feedback, onboard interpolation
and filtering optics combined into a powerful miniature encoder suitable for the most demanding
space constrained applications. The ATOM DX encoder is quick and simple to
install using the intuitive automatic calibration routine. With no need for any external interfaces ATOM
DX simplifies the integration process. The ATOM DX encoder system incorporates filtering
optics into a miniature digital encoder by utilising a high reliability ultra compact
led. In ATOM DX the scale is illuminated by the
led and an image of the scale is relayed to the sensor by the index grating. Precise design and integration of the led,
index grating and sensor means the image is filtered so the encoder produces a harmonically
pure signal. High harmonic purity results in a low sub
divisional error. As filtering optics rejects non periodic structures
on a scale, accuracy is maintained even when the scale is contaminated. This means ATOM DX has exceptional dirt immunity
for a miniature encoder. As it’s such a small encoder, the challenge
with ATOM DX was to compress the interpolation into a miniature chip without compromising
on performance. Many encoders this small have external interfaces. With ATOM DX we compress the interpolation
offered by an external interface into a miniature chip. Analogue output signals from position encoders
generally take the form of sine waves in quadrature. In other words, a sine and a cosine signal
90 degrees apart in phase. These signals indicate change of position
and direction of motion. If these quadrature signals are plotted against
each other they form a circular Lissajous figure. As the encoder moves, the signals move around
the circular plot, once per every scale period. An interpolator subdivides this signal period
into smaller sections and as these sections are traversed a pair of digital quadrature
square waves are generated indicating motion and direction at a finer resolution than the
original analogue signals. ATOM DX is compatible with our Advanced Diagnostic
Tool family and free to use ADT view software allowing the remote calibration of the system
at the touch of a button. This aids optimisation of the encoder set
up and provides in-depth diagnostics for in-field fault finding, even in the most demanding
of applications. The ATOM DX readhead offers versatility with
compatible rotary and linear scales at 20 and 40 micron pitch and works with Renishaw’s
self adhesive RTLF steel linear scale, RCLC self adhesive glass spar scale and for rotary
applications, the RCDM glass disc. State of the art automated manufacturing means
that every ATOM DX meets the highest quality standards whilst offering short lead times. ATOM DX is available in two variants, cabled
and for space constrained applications, top-exit. ATOM DX is backed up by a responsive global
sales and support network in over 35 countries. For more information on this and our other
position encoder solutions, please visit our website.

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