The wide variety of automated machinery used in the printing industry presents innumerable application points for rotary encoders. Commercial printing technologies such as offset web, sheet fed, direct to plate, inkjet, binding, and finishing involve rapid feed speeds, precise alignment and coordination of multiple axes of motion. Rotary encoders excel in proving motion control feedback for all of these operations.
Printing equipment generally measures and generates images with resolutions measured in dots-per-inch (DPI) or pixels-per-inch. When specifying rotary encoders for certain printing applications, the disk resolution is usually correlated to print resolution. For example, many industrial inks jet printing systems employ a rotary encoder to track the motion of the object to be printed. This enables the print head to apply the image to a precisely controlled location on the object.
When the body of an automobile is built, each component needs to travel down the production line with reliable consistency. Each part needs to slow down and stop in front of the relevant station with perfect timing so that it can be welded or otherwise processed without any error. Sensors can detect when the relevant station is near so that the line can stop, and the component can be processed.
Sensors used in the automotive industry have high precision that makes it possible for them to give accurate results even while operating around various objects with glossy surfaces.
The Printing industry typically uses encoders and sensors for the following functions:
Registration Mark Timing - Offset presses
Web Tensioning - Web presses, roll-stock printing
Cut-to-Length - Binary systems, offset presses, web presses
Conveying - Inkjet printing
Spooling or Level Wind - Web presses