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Encoders for position and motion control

Renishaw offers a comprehensive range of non-contact encoders for position and motion control. Learn about our open and enclosed optical, magnetic and laser encoders.

Find your Renishaw motion control solution

Need an encoder for a position and motion control system? Discover how our different types of encoder products can meet your industrial automation needs. Renishaw's high-accuracy and high-quality encoders offer superior reliability, easy installation and are suitable for even the harshest environments.

ATOM™ and RESOLUTE™ optical encoders on plinths

Open optical encoders provide robust and high-performance linear, rotary and partial arc position measurement. Our incremental encoders are suitable for motion systems where immediate and accurate relative position is required. Renishaw's absolute encoders offer functional immunity from power interruption.

Open optical encoders

FORTiS-S™ and FORTiS-N™ enclosed optical encoders

Enclosed optical encoders offer an exceptionally robust design, ideal for harsh industrial environments such as machine tools. Our proven absolute position measurement technology is robust and reliable. Non-contact design enhances repeatability and reduces wear. Superior sealing provides greater resistance to contamination by fluids and solid debris.

Enclosed optical encoders

RLE and RLD laser encoders on plinths

Laser encoders provide linear position measurement with high resolution and low cyclic error. They combine the measurement performance of a displacement interferometer with the ease of use and installation of traditional tape or glass scale encoders.

Laser encoders

LiNACE, LM13, ORBiS magnetic encoders on plinths

Magnetic encoders provide highly reliable linear and rotary position measurement. Their robustness allows incremental and absolute position measurement operation in harsh environments. Non-contact design ensures no mechanical wear during operation.

Magnetic encoders

An encoder is a sensor that detects position. An accurate scale (like a ruler or protractor) is read by an electronic readhead that converts position into a 'coded' electrical signal. Encoders are available in a wide range of sizes and specifications. Renishaw has developed encoders that measure down to 1 nanometre – that is one billionth of a metre.

Which areas of industrial automation use encoders?

We supply encoders to a wide range of industries and applications, including:

  • electronics
  • aerospace
  • medical
  • scientific research
  • machine tools
  • motion control
  • semiconductor
  • robotics
  • flat panel display
  • co-ordinate measuring machines (CMMs)
  • renewable energy
  • solar PV
  • print
  • precision metrology
Encoders can measure linear, rotary and partial arc motion by reporting incremental or absolute position. Position feedback from an encoder allows industrial machines to reliably control their moving axes. This control contributes to lower manufacturing time and cost.

Renishaw encoders feature a zero-wear non-contact design. We offer incremental and absolute scales in a variety of materials. Our readheads provide position signals with low electrical noise and high resistance to vibration.

Find out more in our introduction to encoder systems article.

Machine tool showing location of position encoders

The installation of the FORTiS enclosed encoder is very simple, which has greatly improved our productivity. Our latest grinding machines have been equipped with the FORTiS encoder and are now entering mass-production. We are very optimistic about the future development of grinding machines.

Mr Ranganatha, Director of Tool Grinding Technologies Inc.

Operator wearing headphone looking at a laptop screen

How do we support you?

Renishaw will be there to provide service and support, no matter where you and your customers are. We are dedicated to ensuring that you have everything you need. Renishaw offices are located around the world. Our designers and technical experts in the UK are always available to provide application advice and installation support.

Our local teams provide:

  • Sales and after sales
  • Training and technical support
  • Spare parts and repair services

Our encoders have CE approval and RoHS compliance. They are manufactured by Renishaw, following strict quality controls certified to ISO 9001:2015.

We understand that each encoder installation is different. Therefore, we offer customised readheads and scales to meet the specific needs of OEM customers. Common requirements for custom solutions include resolutions, connectors, scale and cable lengths and mechanical changes.

We have many years of experience in supporting integration challenges. Therefore, we strongly encourage direct engineering team discussions. This helps to ensure that custom solutions work properly the first time they are used in the application.

Non-contact position encoders guide

Find out more about Renishaw's range of open and enclosed optical, magnetic and laser encoder systems.

To find the most suitable position encoder for your requirements, please download our guide below.

Download our guide today

How do our customers use our encoders?

See how others have trusted Renishaw encoders.

Our range of case studies showcases how our robust and high-performance encoders have solved precision measurement challenges.

The applications are as varied as electronics, precision manufacturing, scientific research, aerospace, medical and healthcare.

Discover our global library of case studies, which includes a look at how Renishaw's FORTiS enclosed encoder has enhanced grinding precision and performance.

Discover our case studies
RESOLUTE™ and RESA™ optical encoder system on direct-drive rotary (DDR) table

Trust Renishaw's expertise in encoders

As an industry-leading innovator, Renishaw re-invests each year between 14% and 18% of turnover into engineering, research and development. The results are ground-breaking new solutions for our customers. We are committed to creating unique technologies - pushing encoder performance to new levels.

We launched our first encoders in 1989. Since then, our metrology innovations and reputation for engineering excellence have established us as a leader in our markets.


Contact our sales team today

Get in contact with your local office to find out more information and speak to an expert.