The Ultimate Guide For Incremental Rotary Encoders

incremental rotary encoders

This guide will explain everything you need to know about incremental rotary encoders – including how they work, their advantages, and their disadvantages.

An incremental rotary encoder is a device that is used to measure the rotational speed of a shaft or other object. It is a type of rotary encoder. Unlike an absolute rotary encoder, an incremental rotary encoder does not need to be zeroed or calibrated before use.

Incremental rotary encoders can be used to measure the speed of a shaft or other object in either direction. They can also be used to measure the distance travelled by an object. Incremental rotary encoders are available in a variety of sizes and styles.

Working Principle of an Incremental Rotary Encoder:

The basic working principle of an incremental rotary encoder is as follows:

Rotating the shaft by one increment and detecting the change in position by measuring the travel distance between two points on it. The value is increased or decreased by 1/100th of a revolution depending on whether the measured position has moved towards or away from zero. This device can be used to measure angular displacement. It consists of a disc with evenly spaced markings or holes that can be read by an optical or magnetic sensor. As the disc turns, the sensor detects the markings and generates pulses of electrical signals. The number of pulses detected is proportional to the angular displacement of the disc.

Applications Of Incremental Rotary Encoders

Incremental encoders are commonly used as position sensors for machine tools and robots. These devices are also used in medical equipment and various industrial machines such as printing presses, water-jet cutting machines and assembly lines.

Since these devices generate electrical pulses instead of mechanical displacement signals, they can provide much higher resolution than mechanical sensors. This means that you can use them for applications where high accuracy and stability are required without having to worry about noise or wear & tear on your system components.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Incremental Rotary Encoders:


They offer increased accuracy and precision when compared with linear encoders.

They can be used in a wider variety of applications, particularly those involving high-precision measurements.

They are easier to read than linear encoders, which makes them ideal when you need to read the position from multiple locations along the shaft.


They may not provide a high degree of accuracy when compared with linear encoder systems due to a lower resolution or limited resolution range (i.e., only 0–5 positions).

Which Is The Best Encoder For Your Application?

Incremental rotary encoders are sensors that measure the rotational movement of a shaft or axle. They are commonly used in applications such as speedometers and tachometers, but can also be used for more complex applications such as positioning control in robotic arm systems.

There are two main types of incremental rotary encoders: absolute and incremental. Absolute encoders measure the exact position of the shaft at any given time, while incremental encoders only measure the amount of shaft rotation since the last reset. Incremental encoders are typically less expensive and easier to implement than absolute encoders, but have some disadvantages that should be considered before using them in an application.

Where Can You Find A Reliable Supplier Of Rotary Encoders?

Choosing the best supplier to buy from can indeed be a tricky affair; it gets even trickier when you have to consider incremental rotary encoders. That said, there is a lot of information available online, and if you follow our advice, our experts at Puretronics will make sure that you find the perfect encoders for your needs.

We hope we were able to give you a clearer understanding of incremental encoders and how they work. In conclusion, feel free to visit our site for more useful content.

Alisha Singh

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to receive the weekly Newsletters from our website. Don’t worry, we won’t spam you.