Capacitive Encoder

Netzer Precision Motion Sensors has taken a revolutionary position sensing technology, originally developed for harsh environment specialized applications, and made it available for today’s broader range of defense, homeland security, aerospace and instrumentation motion control requirements. Standard and customized rotary and linear electric encoders are also applicable to medical, automotive and a wide range of other applications.

The Electric Encoder™ non-contact technology relies on interaction between the measured displacement and a space/time modulated electric field. It offers a blend of features unequalled by optical or magnetic encoders.

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Advantages of Capacitive encoder

The main technical and economic benefits of the electric / capacitive encoder technology can be summarized as follows:

  • No glass disc, no LED light source, so that eliminates possible points of failure
  • Generous mounting tolerances
  • Very low weight, inertia, and profile (=<10mm)
  • Ring shaped, hollow shaft with a wide range of diameters
  • Absolute position output over 360° rotation range
  • Precision to 0.001° in selected models
  • Default operation range from -40°C to +85°C
  • Dual and triple redundancy options
  • No magnetic signature
  • High tolerance to condensation and contaminants
  • Insensitivity to EMI/RFI and magnetic fields
  • High customizability
  • Low power consumption
  • Ultra-high-speed options
  • Wide variety of position feedback protocols

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Application scenarios for capacitive encoders

Typical reasons for using capacitive encoders:

  •     the environment is heavily affected by electromagnetic interference
  •     an extremely short axial overall length is required
  •     a large internal bore in combination with short axial length is required
  •     Robustness against dust, humidity, shock and vibration is required

Our capacitive encoder uses the capacitive measuring principle and is therefore immune to EMC interference. EMC disturbances can occur in the vicinity of power electronics or in certain medical applications such as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) technology. Due to the holographic measuring principle, which derives the signal over the full effective area of the encoder disc, the accuracy is less sensitive to mounting tolerances than with optical angle measurement systems. The capacitive encoder has no glass disc and no light source / light receiver and is therefore insensitive to dust, humidity, shock and vibration.

Capacitive encoder in kit form for robotics

VL series  are kit encoders (rotor+stator, no housing) specially designed for robotics.

The main features are:

  • Absolute position
  • Short axial length
  • Large throughbore (especially useful for cables which must pass through robotic joints).
  • No bearings
  • High accuracy
  • Hardened against temperature, shock, moisture
  • Hardened against EMI/EMC and magnetic fields
  • 18-20-bit resolution
  • Accuracy ±0.010°

The encoder works by measuring capacitance over the full area of the encoder disc, thus, the mechanical mounting tolerances of the encoder are very flexible. At the same time, the encoder delivers very high accuracy. As the encoder has no ball bearings, glass code disks, LED light sources and other parts subject to wear-and-tear, it is a very reliable device. In addition, the power consumption is very low. The encoder is single-turn and provides SSI or BiSS-C absolute feedback.

MACCON offers the following single-turn encoder models:

  • VLX-60 with 60 mm outer diameter and 25 mm through hole
  • VLP-60 with 60 mm outer diameter and 25 mm through hole
  • VLP-100 with 100 mm outer diameter and 48 mm through hole

MACCON offers the following multi-turn encoder:

  • VLM-60 with 60 mm outer diameter and 25 mm through hole.

Please download one of the datasheets on the right-hand side for more information. Alternatively, feel free to contact us, to talk to an experienced engineer about your application.

Features of the capacitive Encoder

  • Lightweight miniature absolute rotary encoder
  • Hollow floating shaft
  • No bearing or other contacts
  • High precision
  • High tolerance to EMI, RFI and magnetic fields
  • Digital interfaces for absolute position

Overview of the technical data of the VL series capacitive encoders

VLX-6060 mm25 mm8 mm-25°C to +65°C18-20 bit±0.010°
VLP-6060 mm25 mm6 mm-40°C to +85°C18-20 bit±0.010°
VLP-100100 mm48 mm7 mm-40°C to +85°C18-20 bit±0.006°

Do you have technical questions or need a quote?

Contact us today to talk to an experienced MACCON engineer!

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Multi-turn Encoder for multi-axis systems

The VLM-60 multi-turn encoder is an extremely low profile, hollow shaft absolute rotary encoder. The Encoder ensures the accuracy and reliability demanded by these applications. A 17-bit single-plus-15-bit multi-turn resolution ensures smooth and continuous production since the master reads the multi-turn positions from the encoder both at start-up and throughout the operation. In case of a power outage or a machine shutdown, the VLM-60 maintains the multi-turn absolute position by utilizing an internal battery or an external power source.

The encoder is resistant to extreme environmental conditions such as, humidity and dust, extreme temperatures, shock and vibration, as well as resistant to magnetic fields and electromagnetic interference (EMI), enabling trouble-free performance under almost all conditions.


  • Multi-turn encoder – 17 bit single + 15 bit multi-turn resolution
  • Low profile (<8 mm)
  • High resolution and precision
  • Hollow shaft
  • Adaptable resolution
  • Environmentally durable

Overview of the technical data of the capacitive multi-turn encoders

VLM-6060 mm25 mm8 mm-20°C to +65°C17 bit±0.010°

Application examples

The encoder's versatile features make it suitable for a wide range of demanding tasks in the aerospace, defense, automotive, medical and robotics sectors.