Encoder Solutions for All Motors Great and Small

The demand is growing for cost-effective, high-resolution feedback encoders on both small and large motors.  When do encoders scale with motors?

As automation is becoming miniaturized, we see a demand to produce high-performance encoders to fit on, or in, smaller and smaller motors. Today our smallest “standard” encoder uses a 17.5 mm OD target wheel and is typically mounted on 20 mm stepper or servo motors.

SmallTimken M9 encoder used a 17.5 mm OD target wheel.  Example is a 1,000 CPR (4,000 edges per revolution) A, B, Z off-axis magnetic encoder.

The off-axis design of the Timken M9 encoder allows customers to mount the encoder on the front or back of the motor and to have the shaft pass through the encoder to connect to the end user’s application. The M9 platform offers up to 1,000 CPR (4,000 quadrature signals per revolution) and a once per revolution index pulse. The M9 is also available with a differential line driver output to operate in harsh industrial environments.  

MediumRing kit designed for a wide range of shaft sizes.  Notice the large diameter of the target magnet.

When your motor shaft is larger or you need higher resolutions, choose a larger encoder.  When a magnetic encoder gets larger, the sensor circuit does not need to change.  At Timken we typically use MPS160 or MPS512 sensor chips and add optional line drivers, connectors and application specific circuitry. The diameter of the target wheel changes to allow for more magnetic pole pairs and to extend outside the motor shaft diameter. The larger the sensing diameter the more resolution is possible, as well as more accuracy.


Large The sensor ring is mounted in a drive motor on a mining truck. Notice the size of the 17.5 mm M9 target fits well within the mining truck target wheel. Both applications use the same MPS160 sensor chip with slightly different settings.
For more information on what you need to know about magnetic encoders for your large or small motor, reach me at 603.358.4760 or send me at email at [email protected]. Please join our LinkedIn Group to continue the discussion.

Driverless Tractors Count on Timken Magnetic Encoders

The next generation of farm equipment is already in fields across the heartland. The crucial difference? They’re driverless and satellite-guided.

GPS-piloted tractors save farmers thousands of dollars with the operational efficiencies they create. Unaffected by fatigue and poor visibility, they reduce distances traveled by each vehicle, are accurate within inches, and save on fuel costs while improving crop yields.

They also create new challenges. For example: with no human around, how do you tell when a machine is approaching a breakdown so you can shut it down before significant damage occurs? The answer is Timken off-axis magnetic encoders.

They are highly resistant to the dirt, condensation and vibration found in agricultural applications. An optical encoder could succumb to these environmental issues. Magnetic encoders are unaffected and continue to operate through it all.

To discuss Timken off-axis magnetic encoders and other applications where they could be your solution, reach me at 603.355.4502 or send me at email at [email protected]

Photo Credit:  Shutterstock © Denton Rumsey

Timken Sensors and Encoders Get Social

At Timken, we think it’s important to keep the conversation going. Stay on top of the encoder industry and up-to-date on Timken® sensors and encoders with our new LinkedIn Group. It’s a place to build community, share ideas and hear the latest news.

Join us here.

Myself and two of our top engineers in this field will post new topics biweekly. We hope these posts answer some of your questions and generate discussion.

Meet the Timken panel:

Robert Stiffler – Business Development Manager – The Timken Company (2010 – Present)
I manage the day-to-day business of Timken sensors and encoders. I also create and implement business strategy to drive profits and growth in industrial motion control electronics.

John Santos – Chief Engineer – Sensors – The Timken Company (2007 – Present)
John leads all aspects of engineering for Timken’s multimillion-dollar sensor business, from product design to applications and manufacturing engineering, and IP management.

Mark LaCroix – Principal Application Engineer – The Timken Company (1987-Present)
As the lead sensors applications engineer at Timken, Mark has designed and developed magnetic sensors for 28 years including sensor ASIC chips, complex magnets and magnetic patterns and magnetic encoders.

Please join us on our LinkedIn Group discussions and add your comments and questions.  Or as always, call us at 603.358.4760 or send us an email