The MAAX encoder can operate in explosive Class 1, Division 1 and Zone 1 environments.

By Warren Miller, contributing writer

measure and control the motion of operating devices in everything from medical
and laboratory settings to automated factories and electric motors.  Some applications require encoders to
function in harsh and possibly even destructive conditions, such as extreme
temperatures or high vibrations.  Sensata
believes it has developed the perfect solution to
challenging environments that require multi-turn encoders.  The company claims that BEI Sensors’ model MAAX
is first explosion-proof stackable multi-turn encoder specifically designed for
oil and gas applications.

encoder is ATEX and IECEx certified, the European and international standards
for explosive material certification, and can operate in explosive Class 1,
Division 1 and Zone 1 environments. The encoder is shock and vibration
resistant and can operate in field temperatures between -30°C and 65°C, and all of the device’s exposed
surfaces are either hard anodized or stainless steel to combat corrosion.

offers Profibus, CAN and SSI outputs and provides 16 bits of resolution and is
outfitted with a 20-mm diameter integrated coupling for rigid mounting
purposes, thereby reducing strain on the device’s bearings and providing a
secure attachment for hazardous area conduit fittings, according to the



its stackable design makes the MAAX well-suited for applications that require
encoders to work in tandem to share data or to provide redundancy.  Multiple devices can be linked using the
Profibus interface, eliminating the need for running a control cable from the
patch panel to each individual device.

Absolute multi-turn
encoders like the MAAX are a good fit for the challenges of oil and gas applications
such as pipe-handling equipment and top drives. 
The single-unit system makes installation simple and LED status lights
allow the monitoring of its functionality during both installation and

Other features include a terminal box that simplifies
installation by allowing the unit to be pre-wired and tested prior to assembly;
a flexible internal connector in the terminal box to simplify cable gland
installation, and standard captive screws with the terminal box, which is
tethered to the encoder body for safety, said the company.