Packaging equipment functions and processes share some common ground; their automation equipment must take up less space and move at faster speeds. To be competitive, all components in a packaging equipment system, including sensor detection, must be small, fast, accurate and durable. (Should we say "lean" on the budget too?) This is why Accu‑Coder™ encoders are so popular in the packaging industry.
In 1969, when EPC first began building encoders, the focus was on accuracy, and reliability. Housed in durable T6 aluminum, the original Cube Encoder was a rotary shaft encoder built with highly reliable electronics and compatible with many electronic counters and motion controllers. As packaging equipment advanced, so did the Cube, along with our entire encoder line.
Opto-ASIC technology, a single chip which combines all of the components of a typical sensor board into a single circuit, was the biggest advancement. Compared to analog sensors, the new Opto‑ASIC design provided greater immunity to electrical noise, virtually eliminating missing and extra counts. Reduced electronics, along with other design improvements, provided more space inside the ever-shrinking encoder. Amazingly, all of this increased technology allowed our encoders to become smaller, more temperature resistant, and more accurate.
The Model 225 is commonly used in applications as a tachometer. Although the Cube and 225 Models are some of the earliest encoders manufactured by EPC, they are quality encoders that have stood the test of time, and have become "staples" in the packaging industry.
As packaging equipment required higher accuracies and speeds, encoders needed higher resolutions and operating frequencies to allow motors to position equipment faster with much greater detail. Thus, the "round line" of encoders was created. This includes Models 702, 725, 755A, 758, 802S, and 858S. All these models provide resolutions up to 30,000 CPR, and frequencies up to 1 MHz.
For many years, shaft models were the preferred encoder solution, using a coupling to attach the encoder shaft to an assembly device. As time progressed, Thru-Bore encoders have become the popular choice due to their ease of installation, slipping directly over the motor or equipment shaft. Currently in the packaging, marking and labeling industry, our most popular encoders are the small Thru-Bore models such as the 15T and 260. EPC has created the largest bore possible in the smallest encoder possible-- The Model 260 having bore sizes up to 0.625" or 15 mm. Because of superior designs and Opto-ASIC technology, both the Model 15T and Model 260 can withstand temperatures up to 120 degrees C.
With the Food and Pharmaceutical Packaging Industries, critical encoder features include sealing and housing material. Processing flour and wheat in the food industry can generate huge amounts of dust, easily destroying an encoder. The Pharmaceutical Industry needs a "clean room" environment, and will often wash-down equipment with caustic chemicals. In these applications, the Stainless Steel and 725I line of encoders are the encoders of choice. The 725I industrial strength encoder internally isolates the encoder for superior shock and vibration resistance and provides sealing to IP66. All Stainless Steel encoders can be sealed to IP66 (dust tight and protected from strong jets of water in all directions), and are housed in tough 316 Stainless Steel, perfect for corrosive or caustic applications.
The hottest encoder advancement EVER has been the creation of theTru-Trac™. This encoder is so small, that it fits in the palm of your hand, yet it incorporates an encoder, measuring wheel, and torsion arm into one precise unit, providing accurate linear measurement. This integrated solution not only saves packaging engineers hours of design time, but simplifies and speeds installations since the wheel, encoder, and arm are incorporated into one small package.
All of the requirements of the packaging automation equipment industry are fulfilled with reliable Accu-Coder™ brand encoders. We have encoders running at speeds up to 8000 RPM, sealing up to IP66, the ability to take temperatures up to 120 degrees C, accuracy of 1.0 arc minute, and a variety of durable housings for extreme environments.
EPC has an encoder solution for every Packaging, Marking, Labeling, or Processing application you will encounter. Click here to request your Packaging, Printing, Labeling Solutions brochure today or take a look at the inside here.