Software adds intelligence to rotary encoders

December 04, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
This software-encoder pairing allows for programmability and diagnostics; CUI’s IAMT Viewpoint Graphical User Interface (GUI) supports its AMT11 incremental and AMT31 commutation encoder series.

The AMT family is a rugged, high accuracy encoder based on CUI's capacitive encoder platform, which renders it immune to contaminants that typically plague encoders in industrial environments. The family’s digital-based design provides users with programmability and diagnostic capabilities, both claimed as industry firsts.

The intuitive AMT Viewpoint software speeds development, allowing users to configure a range of encoder parameters, including resolution, zero position, and in the case of commutation models, pole count and direction of rotation. The software provides engineers with access to a range of diagnostic data for quick analysis during design or while in the field. The GUI requires just a USB cable to interface to the encoder, and implements a simple serial-data format.

Programming an encoder through the GUI takes just a few keystrokes and about 30 seconds for the cycle to complete. Aligning and zeroing of an encoder for either A, B, index or commutation mode takes only seconds, in contrast to completing this task with a non-programmable optical or magnetic encoder, where the multi-step process of physically aligning the commutation signals can take 15 to 20 minutes.

CUI adds that the product offers a combination of accuracy and durability, while the GUI allows for visibility and control, creating a powerful pairing for engineers designing motion control systems.

The AMT Viewpoint software can be downloaded at