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Renishaw FORTiS Closed Linear Encoders


Global Engineering Technology Company Renishaw launched a range of new generation closed linear encoders. FORTiS is the new closed encoder that enables machine tool builders to improve machine tool performance and increase uptime while improving assembly, maintenance and service efficiency.

The innovative FORTiS closed linear absolute encoder series is designed for use in harsh environments such as machine tools. It can also be used in functional safety applications up to SiL2 and PLd.
The design of the FORTiS encoder is based on RESOLVED encoder technology and provides high resistance to the penetration of contaminating liquids and solid debris. It features an extruded housing with interlocking lip seals and sealed end caps. The read head body is connected to an optical unit sealed by a blade, which passes through the DuraSeal lip seals along the length of the encoder. The movement of the linear axis causes the read head and optics to pass through the absolute scale of the encoder (which is fixed inside the housing), without mechanical contact.

Ian Eldred, Senior Mechanical Engineer at Renishaw, highlights a range of unique and revolutionary design features associated with the recent introduction of Functionally Safe (FS) variants: “The new range of FORTiS closed absolute encoders is the culmination of years of R&D efforts at Renishaw. It offers superior repeatability, reduced hysteresis and improved measurement performance thanks to an innovative non-contact mechanical design that does not require a mechanical guide carriage. Five years of accelerated life testing under the harshest conditions has enabled Renishaw to develop and refine the new advanced DuraSeal lip seals. These offer excellent wear resistance and machine tool lubricants, superior sealing and penetration protection up to IP64 when combined with an air purge.

“FORTiS absolute encoders also feature specially designed integrated mass dampers that provide 30g vibration resistance and push the limits of what boxed encoders can withstand. Installation of FORTiS encoders is quick and easy, which will save our customers manufacturing and maintenance time. In addition, with the growing industrial trend to reduce risk to systems and processes, we are committed to providing functional safety variants for all FORTiS closed encoders. We are delighted to bring FS certified products to the market so soon after the launch of the FORTiS range. “

Customers can choose from two different extrusion profiles according to their space requirements.
The FORTiS-S linear encoder is the standard size encoder, available with measuring lengths from 140mm to 3040mm and is installed directly to a machined surface via flex holes in the extrusion body.

The FORTiS-N encoder, available with gauge lengths from 70mm to 2040mm, features a narrower section extrusion and a more compact read head to allow installations in confined spaces. This model can be mounted directly to a machined surface via two end cap mounting holes or a mounting rail
for greater rigidity.

About FORTiS FS Enclosed Encoders
Some machine safety functions, such as Safe Limited Speed ​​(SLS), require encoder position feedback to be functional. Using an encoder system already designed for use in safety-related applications can greatly facilitate the certification of machinery.
Renishaw has launched functionally safe variants of the FORTiS closed encoder series.
FORTiS FS is a closed linear absolute encoder system certified according to the following functional safety standards: ISO 13849: 2015 PLd, IEC 61508: 2010 SIL2, IEC 61800-5-2: 2016 SIL2. It also offers all the other advantages of the advanced FORTiS encoder series.
FORTiS FS encoders are compatible with the Siemens DRIVE-CLiQ and BiSS safety serial communication protocols.

Advantages of FORTiS absolute encoders
The FORTiS absolute encoder series is designed to be robust and resistant to a wide range of mechanical shock and vibration effects. All FORTiS-S and FORTiS-N encoders, when installed with mounting rails, are rated up to 30g, ensuring reliable metrology even in the harshest environments and motion control applications demanding.

In addition to its extruded housing, FORTiS encoders are also protected against contamination by an additional level of sealing; the read head optical unit (which passes inside the housing) is itself sealed to prevent contamination by liquids, chips and other debris. In addition, improved sealing of the FORTiS encoder housing reduces air leakage from the air purge system, resulting in lower operating costs and longer system life.

FORTiS encoders offer a range of serial communication protocols, including BiSS C, BiSS Safety, Siemens DRIVE-CLiQ, FANUC, Mitsubishi, Panasonic and Yaskawa. The encoder dimensions also ensure space and bolt hole compatibility with a wide range of current and existing alternative systems.

Unlike traditional installation methods, peripheral diagnostic equipment is not essential. Renishaw’s patented LED configuration and carefully designed installation accessories ensure intuitive and correct first-time installation that is considerably faster than more conventional systems, even in tight spaces.

For enhanced functionality, installers can connect the advanced diagnostic tool, ADTa-100, via a standard USB connector, to a PC running Renishaw’s ADT View software. This provides a user-friendly graphical interface of advanced diagnostic information, including key encoder performance parameters such as signal strength along the length of the axis. A permanent record of installation data can be recorded, giving confidence to machine builders and users.

Renishaw FORTiS Absolute Encoder Systems have CE approval and are manufactured in-house using strict quality control processes that are ISO 9001: 2015 certified and backed by a global sales and support network.