LIK  •  Kit L  •  LIA

Optical Incremental Encoders

Individual measuring lengths, interpolated output signals, customized variants and many more features

Linear encoders


Our exposed linear encoders consist of a scanning head and a scale tape. These measuring systems are basically characterized by the following main features:

  • The users slide system takes over the steering between the scanning head and the scale tape
  • Non-contact optical scanning of the scale tape by the scanning head, thereby no mechanical retroactive effect on the slide system
  • Low space requirement due to small dimensions of the encoder
  • High traversing speed up to 10 m/s
  • Signal interpolation up to 100 times integrated in the scanning head or in the connector
  • High resolution (measuring steps up to 50 nm)
  • High scale accuracy up to ±1 µm
  • High interpolation accuracy and low sensibility to contamination due to an integrated online compensation (dynamic offset- and amplitude control)
  • Large mounting tolerances
  • Reference signals with increment-precise repetitive accuracy independent to the index marks approach
  • Defined thermal behaviour supported by our DOUBLEFLEX scale tapes
  • Automatic signal adjustment after mounting possible (ADJUSTMENT TOOL)

Customizable linear encoders for individual needs

Incremental and absolute linear encoders by Numerik Jena are suitable for a wide range of applications. Furthermore, the product range includes high-quality scale tapes made of stainless steel or glass for special demands.

Linear encoders can be used for example in CNC Mills, positioning and measuring systems, metrology instruments or semiconductor steppers. In contrast to the variety of functions and the complexity of its tasks, the design of a linear conductor is as simple as possible: even the most modern encoders only consist of a sensor paired with a scale.

Linear encoders by Numerik Jena either use an incremental or absolute measuring method. The sensor of the linear encoder reads the scale that encodes position and converts the information into a digital or analog signal. This signal can now be decoded by a suitable motion controller into position. Numerik Jena provides a wide range of absolute and incremental encoders for linear applications. 

How a linear encoder encodes position

Linear encoders can use different technologies in order to determine position. Scale or reference based encoding technologies include optical (interferometric, self imaging or shadow), capacitive, inductive, magnetic and eddy current. Optical linear encoders rank among the most accurate and commonly used encoders, especially in industrial applications. In order to encode position, the different types of linear encoders basically use different physical properties for ideal results.

Linear encoders are also available without scales for special tasks. Using an image correlation method, the sensor compares pictures subsequently taken from a surface for displacement.

Application area for linear encoders

A Numerik Jena linear encoder can be used in measurement applications such as laser scanners, coordinate-measuring machines, measuring microscopes and linear drives. 

Furthermore, typical applications for linear encoders in servo controlled motion systems include digital presses, printers, robotics, precision devices in reprography and precise machining.

Typical fields of application:

  • Production and inspection machines for the semiconductor industry
  • Precise machining
  • Linear units, drives and coordinate tables
  • Measuring machines and measuring microscopes
  • Positioning and measuring systems for medical engineering
  • Robots