Sensor Expo 2005: Micronor exhibits passive, fiber-optic rotary encoder

Chicago, IL—Micronor reports that its ZapFree fiber-optic, patent-pending rotary encoders are the world's first commercially available, totally passive, rotary sensor solutions for harsh, hazardous environments in industrial applications.

By Control Engineering Staff June 6, 2005

Chicago, IL— Micronor reports that its ZapFree fiber-optic, patent-pending rotary encoders are the world’s first commercially available, totally passive rotary sensor solutions for harsh, hazardous environments in industrial applications. Micronor is exhibiting its high-resolution MR314 ZapFree encoder and MR310 Universal ZapFree remote encoder interface (REI) module this week at Sensors Expo & Conference 2005 at McCormick Place’s Lakeside Center. The company adds that MR314 adds higher resolution (1024 ppr) to complement its lower-resolution MR312 series (100 ppr to 360ppr) released last year.

Unlike conventional encoders, ZapFree uses an all-optical, entirely passive design, in which there are no internal electronics or power/ground requirements. The system uses telecom-proven coarse wavelength division multiplexing (CWDM) using two wavelengths, each representing an internal optical path, and then combines them onto one industry-standard 62.5/125 multimode fiber. Other fiber-optic advantages include immunity to EMI/RFI, no ground loops, copper outdistancing, and intrinsic safety. Micronor adds that its encoder also can be installed and operated in harsh environments that are beyond the limitations of conventional encoders.

MR310 REI module is the ‘active’ end of the ZapFree system, and can be conveniently co-located with control system electronics up to 1000 meters away from the encoder. MR310 mounts on a standard DIN rail, and offers outputs ensuring compatibility with conventional PLCs and controllers. Its optoelectronics and firmware offer features and functions beyond conventional rotary encoders, including incremental and quasi-absolute encoder functionality, quadrature outputs, programmable quadrature divider, two programmable analog outputs (mA/V) and PC-friendly serial interface.

ZapFree encoders reportedly are ideal for deployment in exposed outdoor installations, such as high roofs and towers susceptible to lightning and atmospheric static, whichration in the presence of EMI/RFI and potential ground loop problems common to industrial environments and around heavy machinery, e.g. motors, brakes, clutches, smelters, and power transformers.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor
jmontague@reedbusiness.com