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Renishaw's optical encoder history

As Renishaw grew its metrology business in the early 1980s, it recognized the increasing importance of high performance position encoders in the CMM and machine tool markets and in response to this trend, Renishaw Research formed the Optical Projects Department in 1984. Focussing mainly on the CMM and metrology markets, the first prototype RG optical scale was developed in 1988 and this was closely followed by the first optical readhead, the RGH1, which was first supplied to customers in 1989. Further technology developed at this time included digital interpolation within the readhead, the electrograting integrated fringe detector and built-in set-up LEDs for easy encoder installation without requiring any external set-up or diagnostic tools - leading to our first high-volume sales, to a customer in the USA, in 1994.

Since 1994, our Encoder business has grown from strength-to-strength with high volume sales across multiple product lines for the world's most demanding applications. The Renishaw Encoders division is now established at the forefront of our industry, offering the manufacturers of the world's highest specification machines unparallelled service, quality and performance.