Exposed linear encoders

Exposed linear encoders are designed for use on machines and installations that require high accuracy of the measured value. 

Typical applications include:

  • Measuring and production equipment in the semiconductor industry
  • PCB assembly machines
  • Ultra-precision machines
  • High-accuracy machine tools
  • Measuring machines and comparators, measuring microscopes, and other precision measuring devices
  • Direct drives

Absolute encoders

LICThe LIC exposed linear encoders permit absolute position measurement both over large paths of traverse up to 28 m and at high traversing speed. In their dimensions and mounting, they match the LIDA 400.

Encoders with position value output

LIP 200The LIP 211 and LIP 291 incremental linear encoders output the position information as a position value. The sinusoidal scanning signals are highly interpolated in the scanning head and converted to a position value by the integrated counter function. As with all incremental encoders, the absolute reference is established with the aid of reference marks.

Incremental encoders


For very high accuracy

The LIP exposed linear encoders are characterized by very small measuring steps together with very high accuracy and repeatability. They operate according to the interferential scanning principle and feature a DIADUR phase grating as the measuring standard.


For high accuracy

The LIF exposed linear encoders have a measuring standard manufactured in the SUPRADUR process on a glass substrate and operate on the interferential scanning principle. They feature high accuracy and repeatability, are especially easy to mount, and have limit switches and homing tracks. The special version LIF 481 V can be used in high vacuum up to 10–7 bar (see separate Product Information sheet).


For high traversing speeds and large measuring lengths

The LIDA exposed linear encoders are specially designed for high traversing speeds up to 10 m/s, and are particularly easy to mount with various mounting possibilities. Steel scale tapes, glass or glass ceramic are used as carriers for METALLUR graduations, depending on the respective encoder. They also feature a limit switch.


For two-coordinate measurement

On the PP two-coordinate encoder, a planar phase-grating structure manufactured with the DIADUR process serves as the measuring standard, which is scanned interferentially. This makes it possible to measure positions in a plane.


For application in high and ultrahigh vacuum technology

Our standard encoders are suitable for use in a low or medium vacuum. Encoders used for applications in a high or ultrahigh vacuum need to fulfill special requirements. Design and materials used have to be specially adapted for it. For more information, refer to the Technical Information document Linear Encoders for Vacuum Technology.
The following exposed linear encoders are specially adapted for use in high and ultrahigh vacuum environments.
• High vacuum: LIP 481 V and LIF 481 V

• High vacuum: LIC 4113 V and LIC 4193 V

• Ultrahigh vacuum: LIP 481 U

New signal processing ASIC for exposed linear encoders from HEIDENHAIN

Exposed linear encoders from HEIDENHAIN are used wherever there is a need for positioning of extremely high accuracy or for a precisely defined motion. To ensure that these high accuracy requirements can be fulfilled over the encoders’ entire life cycle, HEIDENHAIN has developed a new signal processing ASIC: the HSP 1.0. This video shows how it almost completely compensates for signal changes and restores the original signal quality.