After intensive preparatory work and extensive beta testing with users and system integrators worldwide, the time has come. Sensor manufacturer Posital has released its intuitive online tool EncoderMatch.com.
The highlight of the new web platform, which is a search engine, configurator and ordering tool all in one and is aimed at the spare parts business, is that with a few simple clicks, maintenance personnel and technical buyers can quickly, reliably and cost-effectively find optimally suitable replacements for encoders from a wide range of manufacturers that need to be replaced in existing machines or systems. At the end of a visit to the EncoderMatch portal, the enquirer is informed which specific product from the modular Posital portfolio ("One Million Sensors at Your Fingertips") is suitable for seamless or smooth device replacement. If a compatible replacement product is found, a detailed data sheet is attached. In typical Posital fashion, orders can be placed from 'batch size one'. Production takes place after receipt of order in the digital factory in Slubice, Poland, which is geared towards 'mass customisation'. The delivery time is usually three days. Express orders, for which a 24-hour service is offered, are even faster.
"With EncoderMatch, we are specifically addressing a new market," emphasises Jörg Paulus, who as General Manager is responsible for Posital's European business. "While our customers have so far been recruited primarily from OEMs in a wide range of industries, we are currently opening up our digital system to a completely new target group - and globally." Specifically, EncoderMatch is about the huge MRO or after-sales market, where the replacement needs for millions of add-on encoders installed worldwide is the issue. To approach the whole thing pragmatically, Posital is deliberately starting its MRO initiative with incremental encoders. "Incremental encoders, which represent 90% of the market share for add-on or standalone encoders in North America, for example, form a strong basis for the worldwide launch of EncoderMatch," says Paulus.
Accordingly, EncoderMatch enters the race as a referencing tool for maintenance personnel with the specs of a good 1.5 million incremental encoder types, which come from the catalogues of more than 20 globally established encoder manufacturers. The algorithms developed with artificial intelligence (AI) quickly compare parameters such as resolution, interfaces, installation space, shaft and flange dimensions or protection class of the encoders to be replaced with the data pool of POSITAL's modular portfolio, in which millions of product variants are achieved through the logical linking of function modules. Users have various options when entering the EncoderMatch portal.
The quickest way to reach the target is to enter the exact type order code, which is usually printed on the device and contains central information about the design and mode of operation. The search result shows the exact match of the suggested replacement unit with the original transmitter. Alternatively, it is also possible to access the product range of a specific manufacturer - without exact type identification - whereby the enquirer is led to Posital's online product finder. As the 'next step', all encoders 'Made by Posital' that cover the specified requirement profile are listed here.
A specific feature of the Posital system also applies to EncoderMatch: the precise and extremely flexible programmability of the incremental encoders. The devices can be individually programmed to any number of pulses between 1 and 16,000 and the desired output level (HTL or TTL) - not only ex works, but also subsequently on site. A compact Ubifast configuration box was created especially for this purpose, with which the performance characteristics of the encoders can be comprehensively modified quickly and conveniently through software adjustments.
"With EncoderMatch, we have launched an exciting initiative that is really shaking up the MRO market and creating more favourable cost structures by eliminating the middleman. In addition to price, we are setting new accents especially in terms of availability," says Paulus. "This also applies to old-fashioned donors that have long since disappeared from the catalogues of the original manufacturers - and are readily available from us.