Single-turn and Multi-turn Encoders

The encoder has an important job in industrial motion control. You can think of a motor encoder as a translator. It takes information about the position or motion of a shaft or axle, and converts that information into an analog or digital code. Indramat offers single-turn and multi-turn encoders.

Indramat absolute encoders

An Indramat rotary encoder communicates the position of the shaft. An absolute encoder retains its position based on the shaft movement.

Absolute encoders store position information, even when power is removed from the system. The start position is available immediately upon power up, so there is no need for re-calibration.

There are two types of absolute encoder – single-turn encoders and mutli-turn encoders. Indramat offers both types.

Single-turn encoders

A single-turn encoder tracks the position of one encoder turn. This type of encoder does not store information beyond one single revolution.

There’s no way of knowing whether the encoder turns once or one thousand times.

Single turn encoders are suitable for uses when the full range of motion does not exceed a single turn of the encoder. For example, a rotary table does not require data for number of turns, and so lends itself to a single-turn encoder.

Multi-turn encoders

Like single-turn encoders, multi-turn encoders track the position of the shaft in a single turn. The main difference between single-turn encoders and multi-turn encoders is that multi-turn encoders track the number of turns in addition to the shaft position of a single turn.

The output from a multi-turn encoder is unique for each turn up to 4,096 times.

Multi-turn encoders are ideal for linear motion applications. With linear motion, the full range of motion typically exceeds a single encoder turn, so the number of encoder turns is important information.


We can provide you with repair or replacement for your Indramat encoders, or any other Indramat products. Call us at 479-422-0390 for immediate Indramat support.