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All things being equal, absolute position encoders are preferred over incremental encoders. But absolute encoders can be expensive, and are sometimes difficult to integrate into an existing control system. Balluff’s new BML S1G Absolute Quadrature Magnetic Encoder solves these problems by providing traditional A/B quadrature position information, plus offers the ability to get absolute position on demand. This industry-first functionality maintains the ease and simplicity of incremental encoders with the added benefit of absolute position, eliminating the need for re-homing.

“The BML S1G Absolute Quadrature magnetic linear encoder offers the best of both worlds”, explains Scott Rosenberger, Product Marketing Manager for Balluff’s Measurement products. The traditional A/B quadrature signal can be easily integrated into any control system with a high-speed counter interface. The absolute position information, also transmitted as an A/B quadrature “burst”, requires no additional hardware. Rosenberger continues, “This is a pretty big deal for factory automation customers who want to upgrade machine performance and efficiency without needing to undertake a major hardware changeover”.

This innovation in magnetic linear encoder technology marks a significant step forward in capability and ease of integration. Now, even the most dynamic and demanding motion applications can be upgraded to include absolute position feedback, with no associated increase in control hardware cost or programming overhead. Some notable features include:


  • Eliminate the need for homing movements
  • Measuring lengths up to 48 meters
  • Position accuracy to 20 µm
  • Built-in status LED’s for at-a-glance condition monitoring