Mercury II™ 5000 encoder enables smaller, faster, smoother motion control systems

Oct. 17, 2009
MicroE Systems’ new Mercury II™ 5000 is a miniature, high-resolution optical encoder that gives motion system designers superior performance, accuracy, versatility, ease of use and low cost of ownership compared to other encoders in its class. Designed for the next-generation of precision manufacturing, inspection, metrology and medical equipment, its excellent short-range accuracy (cyclic error), up to ±20 nanometers, ensures smooth velocity control. Resolution is programmable and ranges from 5µm to 1.2nm, linear, fitting a wide range of requirements. High speed applications are supported by new, faster A-quad-B output, providing up to 5m/s at 0.1µm resolution and a maximum speed of 10m/s - the fastest A-quad-B encoder in its category. Additionally, the Mercury II 5000’s compact sensor is only 11mm high, enabling smaller, faster motion systems. All electronics are integrated in the Mercury II sensor, including programmable interpolation. This enables digital output right from the sensor with no electronics in the connector, giving users higher system reliability, smaller footprint, faster system integration and a variety of connector options – including customer specific configurations. Fast setup with minimal skill is achieved with Mercury II 5000's optical system, featuring the broadest alignment tolerances of any 20µm-pitch encoder. Rotational tolerance about the Z axis is ±2° – fully 300% better than the next best competitive encoder – and ride height tolerance is ample at ±0.15mm.The adhesive-mount PurePrecision™ tape scales are designed for accuracy, robustness, and rapid installation. This is due to MicroE Systems’ PurePrecision™ system, which allows the installer to cut any required length from a reel; adhesive backing and a unique application tool do the rest, making installation fast and accurate. Linear glass scales satisfy applications requiring high long-range accuracy – up to ±1µm.The tape scale system effectively addresses the requirement for an index that can be placed anywhere. In contrast to magnetic Hall sensors, which are large and time-consuming to install, Mercury II has the first and only stick-on optical index and limits. The index is bi-directional and provides 1 LSB repeatability at all speeds, while fail-safe left and right optical limits enhance safety and reduce cabling.The small size, excellent operating performance, integrated interpolation electronics and ease of installation of the Mercury II 5000 encoders help motion system designers improve their systems in a wide range of applications such as assembly automation, automated optical inspection, metrology, medical / life sciences equipment and microscope stages.