Summer is in full swing here and it
seems that a lot of areas are experiencing heat
waves. Whether you ascribe to global warming trends
or not, one thing is for certain -- it's a good time to
enjoy the shade, a pool, the ocean or a nearby lake or
As you're cooling off let us set your mind at ease by
helping with your control system needs. For technical
assistance, product selection, or troubleshooting -
we're just a phone call (or an email) away. Enjoy your
summer and this month's newsletter. As always, feel
free to contact me with your questions or comments.
In the almost 30 years that we've been supplying
industrial encoders to the marketplace we've seen a
whole lot of different suppliers, both foreign and
domestic, come and go. This has left a legacy of
literally thousands of different encoder models installed
in equipment throughout the industrial marketplace.
If you find yourself having to replace one or more of
you might find that the company is out of business, has
obsoleted that model, or if they can make it, it will be
a few months before they can dust off the old prints
and figure out how to build it again. Meanwhile your
equipment stands idle.
A better solution would be to just call BEI first. We've
been collecting catalogs and compiling a database of
encoder crossovers for years. In fact we have a list of
over 2500 crosses and are continuing to add to that
database at a rate of 20 to 30 a month. Odds are
pretty good that we'll be able to specify a replacement
right away using the BEI family of encoders.
To help get you started in the right direction we've
recently expanded our web site to include a crossover
page. Though we only list the most common 20
manufacturers on this page, we have information for
over 100 different manufacturers in our database. So
even if you don't see your model right away - give us a
We're here to help.
Encoder Crossovers . . .
||Test your Engineering IQ
What industry did Paris-born engineer
Octave Chanute help lay the foundations for?
In 1904 it was more economical to ship fruit from
California to the east coast than it was to cart it from
a farm only 15 miles away. What modern invention
It took an expert in spectroscopy to invent what
device that enabled a communication revolution?
Follow the link below to get the answers to these and
other questions about the "Greatest Engineering Feats
of the 20th Century."
Achievements . . . »
||Can You Solve This?
Sometimes a solution can take a variety of forms once
you understand the problem. Such was the case one
afternoon when a customer called to share his
difficulty in tuning a velocity control loop. He knew
that his servo motor should be able to respond
quicker without oscillating, but he was having trouble
getting it to settle down.
He'd tested the motor in an open-loop configuration so
he knew that both the motor and drive were working
fine. The encoder, it seemed, was giving an erratic
output during acceleration. Was he exceeding the
bandwidth of the device? A quick calculation revealed
that he had bandwidth to spare. Where was the
source of the problem?
Answer: Typically encoders will transduce the exact
movement of the device that they are coupled to very
precisely. The encoder was connected to the motor
via a mechanical coupling. A simple review of the
revealed that the angular stiffness of the coupling was
soft for this application and it was exhibiting wind-up
Either providing acceleration feedback in the control
loop or using a stiffer coupling could potentially solve
this problem. Fortunately BEI stocked an appropriately
stiff servo coupling which we sent out directly. The
next day we got a phone call from one happy
The coupling had worked perfectly.
||How NOT to Get a Job
This is a time of year when there seems to be more
job-hopping in the work force. Maybe it's new
graduates applying for jobs or perhaps you're one of
those whose career isn't where you think it should be.
No matter the reason, it's time to polish up your
resume. So fire up your computer and start typing
away. Just be sure to word it carefully and avoid the
temptation of too much honesty in reporting your
past. Check out these examples from real resumes:
"Graduated in the top 66% of my class." -- "Special
skills: Experienced with numerous office
machines and can make great lattes." -- "Experience:
Watered, groomed, and fed the family
dog for years." -- "Reason for leaving last job: The
owner gave new meaning to the word 'paranoia.' I
prefer to elaborate privately."
Well if those don't get an employer's attention, then I
don't know what will. If you want some more great
ideas of what to avoid, then click on the link below.
your Resume . . . »
||Thanks for reading
Hope you're having a great summer so far and thanks
for taking a few moments to read this month's
newsletter. As always, feel free to contact us with
your comments and suggestions.