What are magnetic scale linear encoders and how do they work?

Optically based industrial automation encoders are the most common kind of encoder sold, accounting for the great majority of sales in the industrial automation encoder market. Magnetic and capacitive industrial automation encoders are also standard. Until recently, the choice between optical and magnetic technologies was primarily dependent on the resolution of the pictures generated by the two technologies. Optical encoders were the only choice if the encoder resolution required to be less than 5 microns, which was the case. In contrast, advances in manufacturing and signal processing methods have made it possible for magnetic scale linear encoders to operate with less than one-micron resolution.

The distance between the alternating north and south magnetic poles, which is described by the distance between the north and south magnetic poles, is referred to as the pole pitch. The read head detects the magnetic poles on the tape by detecting a change in voltage or magnetic resistance as the read head moves over the scale, depending on the kind of sensor employed.

On the scale, this is a set of magnetic poles that are in addition to the standard magnetic poles, and they are identified as such by the labeling. Unlike traditional magnetic poles, they are separated and spaced independently and apart from the typical magnetic poles. Once two reference markings have been traversed, the encoder may compute the absolute position using the location of the first reference mark, the distance between the two patterns, the direction of travel, the length of each magnetic pole, and the primary increment.

Benefits of magnetic scale linear encoder-

  • Travel metrics that are simple and trustworthy are linear travel measures.
  • It is possible to achieve rapid integration and flexibility while maintaining a high level of dependability.
  • Attachment that is both space-saving and easy to use
  • The measuring head and magnetic tape have a diameter of 10 mm, and the large installation tolerance allows for a maximum air gap of 0.6 mm between the sensor and the video between the sensor and the tape.
  • When it comes to measuring the passage of time, there is almost no limit to how long anything may last.
  • Lengths of customized magnetic tape, incremental output signals, and incremental output signals are all examples of what we provide.
  • There is no difference in the durability of this product when exposed to dust, moisture, shock, or vibration.
  • The principle of non-contact, wear-free sensing with IP 67 protection is described in detail.
  • Even in the most adverse outside situations, it maintains its durability.
  • Metallic masking tape, made of stainless steel, is used to protect the magnetic tape from mechanical damage and exposure to sunlight.


The ability to create longer lengths of magnetic tape, as opposed to optical linear encoders, is one advantage of magnetic scale linear encoder compared to optical linear encoders. For example, more than 50 meters in length magnetic scales are standard in real-world applications. The consequence of this is that when employing incremental encoding methods, it may be required to travel the whole distance of the encoder to reach a single reference point. Consequently, magnetic linear encoders are often designed with distance-coded reference markers as part of their functionality.

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