RENCO Modular Rotary Encoders Ideal for Mobile Robots

The RENCO encoders’ slim and lightweight design allows motor designers more flexibility, especially in these applications where space and weight is critical.

SCHAUMBURG, IL (August 2015) - HEIDENHAIN's RENCO brand of encoders are well suited and available for use within a variety of mobile robot applications. Specifically, the modular RENCO R35i and RCML15 rotary encoders (*new brochure available) have proven themselves time and again to be essential for motion and speed feedback control in Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) projects used in distribution warehouses, manufacturing plants and medical facilities of note. The encoders' slim and lightweight design combined with their reliability is making them a popular go-to source for AGV feedback.


The RENCO R35i rotary encoder is particularly noted for its modular design without an integral bearing. Its special properties are its compact design with a 35 mm outside diameter and only 14 mm height as well as its easy, self-centering mounting thanks to a patented slide lock. With its OPTO-ASIC technology, the RENCO R35i offers the greatest possible functionality with the smallest possible dimensions.

The RENCO RCML 15 rotary encoder offers similar reliability along with the OPTP-ASIC technology while having a height of only 8.9 mm, offering an alternative to the R35i with a very low mounting profile.

AGVs are mobile wheel-based robots designed to carry a load through a facility without an onboard operator or driver. Due to new advancements of technologies used within the intelligent and flexible material handling field, many large warehouses and distribution centers have adapted to using AGVs. This switch has led to an increase in efficiency and a reduction in costs by automating some of the manufacturing facility or warehouse.

The RENCO brand R35i and RCML15 rotary encoders currently provide motion and speed feedback in AGV motors which operate a multitude of the axes, with the most common axis being the motors used on the AGV drive wheels. When using the RENCO brand encoders, an AGV system can accurately monitor and establish its speed with consistent repeatability. These aspects are crucial to the machines as they may need to interact directly with a person, and this level of quality is required in order to ensure the safety of the people involved.

The RENCO encoders' slim and lightweight design allows motor designers more flexibility, especially in these applications where space and weight is critical. The RENCO encoders combine brushless motor commutation pulses and incremental position feedback, which reduces the cost while improving the performance and reliability of the brushless motor/encoder package.

Typical AGV applications include transportation of materials (raw, work-in-process, and finished goods), storage/retrieval in support of picking in warehousing and distribution applications, carrying medical supplies and equipment within hospitals, and material handling within clean rooms in the semiconductor industry.

RENCO is a brand of rotary encoder products offered by HEIDENHAIN CORPORATION, the North American subsidiary of DR. JOHANNES HEIDENHAIN GmbH. A leading international manufacturer of precision measurement and control equipment, DR. JOHANNES HEIDENHAIN GmbH is headquartered in Traunreut, Germany, and offers products such as linear scales, rotary and angular encoders, digital readouts, digital length gages, CNC controls, and machine inspection equipment.

Featured Product

Model 30MT Magnetic Encoder Module

Model 30MT Magnetic Encoder Module

The Model 30MT is a compact magnetic encoder module designed for the most extreme environments. It offers sealing up to IP69K, an operating temperature range of -40° to 120° C, and a shock and vibration rating that conforms to Mil-STD-202G. With a large air gap and tolerance to misalignment, up to 1024 CPR (4096 PPR with Quadrature Counting), and easy alignment and installation, the Model 30M or is an excellent solution where you need motion feedback in your robotics application.