Posital has completed a major upgrade of its IXARC family of incremental encoders - launching an overarching NeXtGen initiative. The thoroughly revised incremental encoders feature new magnetic sensor technology and more energy-efficient integrated microcontrollers. They remain mechanically and electrically compatible with the earlier models, but benefit from significantly lower power consumption. This is an important consideration in complex applications where multiple devices are connected to the control system.
The updated encoders are just the first in a series of NeXtGen products that Posital will launch later this year. "Our goal is to optimize the performance, ease of use and availability of our IXARC magnetic encoders and TILTIX inclinometers across the board," emphasizes Jörg Paulus, Posital's European managing director. "As part of the overarching NeXtGen program, the core technologies used in our products are being updated to both further improve performance and strengthen our supply chains."
The new IXARC incremental encoders use tunnel magneto-resistance (TMR) sensor technology instead of the Hall-effect sensors used in previous models. TMR sensors offer higher magnetic sensitivity, which can improve resolution. TMR sensors are also less temperature sensitive and more energy efficient than their predecessors. Posital will introduce TMR technology to its full line of magnetic encoders, including absolute add-on encoders for demanding industrial applications and its extensive line of kit encoders for integrated motor feedback. The TMR sensors will interface with a new generation of microcontrollers that have 60% lower power consumption than older components and can support new signal processing algorithms.
Another goal of NeXtGen is to simplify and stabilize supply chains - and thus specifically safeguard product availability. "The last few years in particular have vividly demonstrated to us how important robust supply chains are," says Paulus. "The NeXtGen initiative, in which we are also aiming for more vertical integration at certain points, was also launched to reduce dependency on individual suppliers and further streamline production - putting it on an even more stable footing."
The NeXtGen initiative is driven by sensor manufacturer Posital's overarching objective to develop innovative and state-of-the-art products that meet the increasingly demanding requirements of customers and markets. Key milestones in this ambitious journey include the development of the first optical absolute encoders (1973), the introduction of magnetic encoders with a revolutionary Wiegand-powered revolution counter (2005), magnetic absolute encoders with higher resolution and improved dynamics (2013), and compact, cost-effective kit encoders for integration into modern electric motors and small drives (2017). "NeXtGen is another milestone with which we want to make our mark in the market," Paulus summarizes. "In the next twelve months, we have a few more exciting innovations up our sleeve."