As an industry that dates back to the bronze age, metal forming, and fabrication still has a place for manual processes. However, like most modern industrial sectors, automated equipment is used by most commercial metal product producers. With automation comes the need for feedback devices, such as rotary encoders. In metal forming and fabrication, rotary encoders are used in automated machinery such as extruders, tube benders, presses, punches, drills, die formers, roll-formers, folders, mills, welders, solders, plasma cutters and waterjet cutters.
The Metal Forming and Fabrication machinery typically uses encoders for the following functions:
Motor Feedback - Vertical mills, lathes, punches, presses, extruders, welders
Conveying - Drive motors, belts, roll-formers, folders, die formers
Registration Mark Timing - Vertical mills, welders, extruders
Backstop Gauging - Presses, extruders, tube benders, presses
X-Y Positioning - Punches, welders, solders drills
Web Tensioning - Spooling systems, roll-formers