TONiC™ incremental encoder system with RTLC20 linear scale
- Readhead size: 35 x 13.5 x 10 mm
- Resolutions to 1 nm
- Speed up to 10 m/s
- Analogue or digital outputs
- Ultra-low Sub-Divisional Error (SDE): typically <±30 nm
- Vacuum compatible version available
- Customer-selectable optical IN‑TRAC™ reference mark
- Tape scale convenience and unrivalled ruggedness
- Carrier-type scale system for quick, easy installation and replacement of scale
- Super-compact encoder with dynamic signal conditioning for improved motion control
- High dirt immunity
- Diagnostic kit
What is TONiC?
TONiC is Renishaw's super-compact, non-contact encoder system that offers speeds up to 10 m/s and, when combined with the Ti interface, resolutions down to 1 nm for both linear and rotary applications. TONiC systems are quick and simple to install with wide set-up tolerances and calibration at the push of a button. TONiC's dynamic signal processing gives improved signal stability with ultra-low Sub-Divisional Error of typically <±30 nm to help realise superior motion control performance.
What is RTLC20 scale?
RTLC20 is a low profile stainless steel tape scale featuring a 20 µm pitch and IN-TRAC customer selectable reference mark. It is accurate to ±5 µm/m and in lengths up to 10 metres (>10 metres on request). Two mounting options are available, both allow independent thermal expansion and tape scale convenience.
RTLC20 can be used with the revolutionary FASTRACK™ scale carrier system. This system allows a track to be laid quickly and easily with no need for fixing holes. A sacrificial spacer is removed and the tape scale is then fed into the track.
RTLC20-S is laid onto the substrate with self-adhesive backing tape. The self-adhesive is formulated in such a way that it allows for independent scale expansion to that of the substrate.
To complete the installation, both types of scale are clamped at one point to provide a datum position.
Why choose this encoder system?
Easily removable scale
RTLC20/FASTRACK is ideal for applications that need the machine to be broken down for transportation or require the scale to be installed/removed for transit. The scale can be pulled out of the guide rails and quickly replaced, even when access is limited, thus reducing machine downtime.
Ultimate reliability and performance in a compact size
For ultimate reliability, consistent performance and high dirt immunity, TONiC readheads incorporate third-generation filtering optics, tuned for even lower noise (jitter) and now further enhanced by dynamic signal processing including Auto Gain Control and Auto Offset Control. This combination – all incorporated inside the readhead - provides signals of unrivalled purity and ultra-low Sub-Divisional Error of typically <±30 nm. The result is smoother velocity control for improved scanning performance and increased positional stability; essential parameters for so many applications, all in a compact readhead.
Quicker and easier installation
A set-up LED on the readhead gives a visual indication of signal size and an optional diagnostic kit allows remote checking of the system performance when the readhead is concealed within the machine. Calibration of the reference mark and incremental signals is done at the push of a button with no mechanical adjustment or additional diagnostic tools. The IN-TRAC customer-selectable optical reference mark is embedded in the incremental scale for compact dimensions and simplified alignment. This yields a reference mark output that is bi-directionally repeatable to unit of resolution over the full operating temperature and speed range.
TD (dual resolution) interface
- Selectable dual-resolutions quadrature output.
- Ideal for applications that require high speed movement combined with finer precision motion.
DOP (dual output) interface
- Provides simultaneous digital quadrature and 1 Vpp signals.
- Designed for applications requiring one or more operations to be synchronised with a motion axis.
Optional diagnostic kit
TONiC diagnostic software can be used to optimise the installation of TONiC encoders and provide a quick and comprehensive system calibration. The software must be used in conjunction with the TONiC diagnostic hardware which can be purchased from Renishaw using part number A-9411-0011. The hardware is connected to the PC via the USB cable (provided in the kit) or in-line with the customers' electronics.
Find out all about the TONiC diagnostic kit.
FASTRACK RTLC20: stainless steel tape scale with carrier system
RTLC20-S: stainless steel tape scale with self-adhesive backing tape, for mounting directly to a substrate without FASTRACK guide rails
Readhead size (LxWxH)
35 mm x 13.5 mm x 10 mm
Coefficient of thermal expansion at 20 °C
10.1 ±0.2 μm/m/°C
Accuracy grade at 20 °C
IN-TRAC reference marks directly embedded into RTLC20 / RTLC20-S
Selector magnet used to identify chosen reference mark
Dual or single limits (select at time of order)
FASTRACK: 100 mm to 25 m
RTLC20/RTLC20-S: up to 10 m
(>10 m on request)
(See data sheet for details)
Up to 10 m/s at -3 dB
Up to 10 m/s
Sub-Divisional Error (SDE)
Typically <±30 nm
Dynamic signal control
Real time signal conditioning including Auto Gain Control (AGC) and Auto Offset Control (AOC) for optimised performance during operation
1 Vpp (20 μm period)
Resolutions from 5 μm to 1 nm
0.5 m, 1 m, 1.5 m, 3 m, 5 m and 10 m cable lengths with mini connector (connects direct to TONiC interface)
5 V ±10%, <100 mA (analogue system), <200 mA (digital systems) (unterminated)
100 m/s2max @ 55 Hz to 2 000 Hz
1 000 m/s2, 6 ms, ½ sine
Operating temperature (system)
0 °C to +70 °C
Refer to data sheets for full details.
How it works
TONiC features the third generation of Renishaw's unique filtering optics that average the contributions from many scale periods and effectively filter out non-periodic features such as dirt. The nominally square-wave scale pattern is also filtered to leave a pure sinusoidal fringe field at the detector. Here, a multiple finger structure is employed, fine enough to produce photocurrents in the form of four symmetrically phased signals. These are combined to remove DC components and produce sine and cosine signal outputs with high spectral purity and low offset while maintaining bandwidth to beyond 500 kHz.
Fully integrated advanced dynamic signal conditioning, Auto Gain , Auto Balance and Auto Offset Controls combine to ensure ultra-low Sub- Divisional Error (SDE) of typically <±30 nm.
This evolution of filtering optics, combined with carefully-selected electronics, provide incremental signals with wide bandwidth achieving a maximum speed of 10 m/s with the lowest positional jitter (noise) of any encoder in its class. Interpolation is by CORDIC algorithm within the TONiC Ti interface, with fine resolution versions being further augmented by additional noise-reducing electronics to achieve jitter of just 0.5 nm RMS.
The IN-TRAC reference mark is fully-integrated in the incremental scale and is detected by a split photodetector within the readhead. As the diagram shows, the reference mark split detector is embedded directly into the centre of the incremental channel linear photodiode array ensuring greater immunity from yaw-dephasing. Yielding a reference mark output that is bi-directionally repeatable to unit of resolution at all speeds. This unique arrangement also benefits from an automatic calibration routine that electronically phases the reference mark and optimises the dynamic signal conditioning