From Encoder Products Company
Modular, or "Kit", encoders are a specialized category of rotary encoders. The difference between a modular encoder and a standard
encoder is that the modular encoder does not incorporate internal bearings into its design. Instead, it relies on the host, typically a motor,
to supply the structural integrity necessary for proper operation. At first glance, this approach seems to be a good idea, since eliminating
the bearings can lower the price of the encoder and give the overall encoder a lower height profile. Motor manufacturers often favor
modular encoders for these reasons.
However, modular encoders are definitely not a panacea, and can be good or bad, depending upon personal experience. The root
problem is not modular encoders themselves, but the fact that they are often misapplied, and a proper understanding of the trade-offs
involved will go a long ways towards preventing a bad experience. The primary purpose of this bulletin is to help you determine whether
a modular encoder is the right choice for your application. In addition, you will better understand the trade-offs involved, and proper
implementation, so that you will see only benefits.
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