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Why use a laser encoder?

Renishaw recognises that specifying and selecting a laser encoder system is a complex process. These pages will walk you through how our systems work, why you should use them and what advantages they give you.


Renishaw has been offering laser based feedback solutions to the industry since 1994 when it first introduced the HS10 long range laser encoder system (up to 60 m range). These found extensive use on large machine tools for aerospace, marine and other specialist applications. The HS10 was superseded by the HS20 long range laser in 2012. Whilst backwards compatible, the HS20 offers redesigned optics and electronics to give enhanced and more robust performance.

The RLE laser encoder series was introduced in 2001 to offer short range feedback (up to 4 m). The RLE uses a unique and patented 'remote' laser source and optical fibre linked head to deliver enhanced metrology, reduced installation footprint and simplified installation and set up. The system is available in multiple configurations to cater for different optical arrangements and applications.

The RLE system has established itself with many global manufacturers of DR and CD-SEM metrology equipment, as well as numerous other short range applications. Its features and capabilities deliver the advantages of interferometry previously not practicable.

Both the RLE and HS20 systems benefit from a wide range of accessories such as environmental compensation systems, optics and signal interfaces to meet a wide range of measurement applications.