An encoder is a device that converts motion into an electrical signal. This signal can be read by a control device such as a pulse counter or PLC. Control devices can use this signal to control a process whose occurrence is dependent on the fulfillment of a condition, such as activation of a print head and printing on items in the correct location. Incremental encoders provide a signal in the form of a pulse wave with a high or low state, which allows recognition of the direction of rotation. They are characterized by the inability to determine a specific position, it is only possible to examine the movement from one position to another.
The encoder resolution is a parameter that determines the number of pulses that are generated during one full revolution of the encoder. The higher this value is, the more accurate the positioning is. The number of encoder applications in industry is very large. Cutting to length, plotters, industrial robots, packaging, belt conveying, sorting, filling are all examples of issues involving encoders.