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Optical Rotary Encoders - Rugged and Precise Speed and Position Encoder Products

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Optical sensing technology is the most precise and offers the highest resolution of the position sensing technologies. Rugged construction and years of field proven service makes BEI optical rotary encoders ideal for operating in harsh industrial environments including oil well drilling, machine control, agricultural machinery, web process control, robotics, elevators, construction equipment, cranes, motor feedback and any closed loop control systems. BEI optical encoders are available as incremental, absolute single-turn, and absolute multi-turn. BEI Sensors programmable encoders offer resolution flexibility to match changing needs while also saving on inventory costs and reducing machine downtime.

Incremental Encoder

Incremental Optical Rotary Encoders

An incremental encoder produces a series of square waves as it rotates. The number of square wave cycles produced per one turn of the shaft is called the encoder resolution. Generally, incremental encoders provide more resolution at a lower cost than their absolute cousins. They also have a simpler interface because they have fewer output lines.

These encoders are ideal for applications where relative movement is desired. They are available as shafted or hollow shaft (blind and through) in package sizes from 1.18" (30mm) to 5.2" (132.08mm).


Absolute Single-Turn Rotary Encoder

Absolute Single-Turn Optical Rotary Encoders

This type of industrial encoder provides a "whole word" output with a unique code pattern representing each position. This code is derived from independent tracks on the encoder disc (one for each "bit" of resolution) corresponding to the individual photodetectors.

Single-turns are ideal for applications where a device moves at a slow rate under one rotation or is inactive for long periods of time. These encoders are available as shafted or hollow shaft (blind and through) in package sizes from 2.3" (58mm) to 4.6" (116mm).


Absolute Multi-Turn Rotary Encoder

Absolute Multi-Turn Optical Rotary Encoders

Similar to absolute single turn encoders, however multi-turns are ideal for applications where a device moves at a slow rate with multiple rotations or is inactive for long periods of time. They are available as shafted or hollow shaft (blind and through) in package sizes from 2.3" (58mm) to 4.3" (109mm).


Express Encoders for Fast Delivery

Express Encoders®

Express Encoders are popular configurations of our standard model encoders that ship in 3 days or less with no expedite fees. Some models can ship same day – please consult factory. With six package styles (four incremental and two absolute) to choose from, over 2,000 different configurations - that will meet just about any need.


ATEX and UL encoders for hazardous environments

Hazardous Area Certified Optical Rotary Encoders

Industry-leading selection of UL and ATEX certified encoders and intrinsically safe barriers. Encoder certifications include UL Class I Division 1 and 2, Class II Division 1 and 2, as well as ATEX Zone 1 and Zone 2.


programmable encoder with flexible resolution variations

Programmable Encoders

Programmable encoders offer flexibility to match the changing needs of the end user while also reducing machine downtime and saving on inventory costs. With a programmable encoder, users can produce a wide range of resolutions from just one encoder. In other words, this versatile encoder can be reprogrammed so that the adjusted resolution meets the needs of different applications.


SIL and PL encoders for functional safety

Functional Safety Rotary Encoders

Safety Integrity Level (SIL) rated encoders and Performance Level (PL) rated encoders to meet functional safety standards.

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