One of the great strengths of the Engineering Team at Thistle Design is their ability to draw on a wide range of experience in the encoder industry to provide unique solutions to measurement, motion and control problems.
Quality Audit Success
Thistle Design (MMC) Ltd have just successfuly undergone an external audit to ensure our continuing approval to ISO9001:2008.
Quality is a cornerstone of our business and the success of the audit will ensure our commitment to providing products and services to this standard.
Christmas wishes to all our Customers and Suppliers
Its nearly Christmas and time to spend some well earned time with family and friends after another busy year.
From all at Thistle Design we would like to wish our Customers and Suppliers a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year in 2015.
Steel Strip Mill Application for Size 18 Incremental Encoder
Thistle Design have just completed delivery of a batch of Size 18 Incremental Encoders for use by TATA STEELS Rotherham Hot Strip Mill.
The latest order was for a new project where the encoder forms part of the position control system for the guides which keep the steel strip in a central position during rolling operations.
This type of encoder has also been used by the Rotherham plant for position feedback of the roll gap on the mill. In this application the encoder was used as a form, fit and function replacement for a Moore Reed Frame size 18 Synchro.
The Size 18 Incremental Encoder is available in a range of pulses per revolution from 20 to 5000.
Additional features include a splined and thread shaft for reliable mechanical interface, a robust stainless steel body and an integral IP67 seal.
If you require further information on this encoder please contact our applications engineers who can assist you in selecting the most appropriate version to suit your needs.
Thistle Design Launch New Website
Welcome to our new website.
We hope you will find it useful for familiarising yourself with our product range and capabilities. It has lots of improved features aimed at making navigation and correspondence easier than before.
Our thanks to Justin Gutteridge and Daniel French at Business Magnet for their had work in creating the site and to our own Gordon Stewart for editing and publishing it.
Below are some selected news stories from previous years for you to look at.
Radiation Tolerant Devices
Way back in 1999 Thistle Design manufactured a unique Radiation Tolerant Encoder for use in the Vitrification Plant at Sellafield.
This device combined an Incremental Encoder with a Wire Wound Potentiometer connected by an integral precision gearbox. The resulting twin output was capable of operating in extremely high radiation environments (100,000,000 Rads).
Thistle Design has continued to develop encoders, meters and counters for use in the nuclear industry for both operational and decommissioning projects.
The latest device developed is Incremental Encoder Type 24SQ-126 for EDF Energy’s Torness Power Station.
The design is based on lessons learned during the development of a range of Absolute Encoders for EDF Energy’s Hartlepool Power Station.
These were successfully Type Tested at a cumulative radiation dose of 70kRads at a certified nuclear test facility.
The 24SQ-126 is a generic design capable of being assembled to give a variety of output options.
The available range is:
20 to 1000 PPR
Size 18 Synchro Replacement Encoder
Thistle Design have designed an Incremental Encoder to replace a size 18 Synchro.
The Type TDEA1216 Incremental Encoder has an all Stainless Steel body and splined/threaded output shaft to replicate the previous configuration.
The work was carried out at the behest of TATA Steel’s Rotherham plant and the first batch of encoders are in use there now.
The TDEA1216 Encoder has a 1024 PPR 2 channel quadrature output with once per rev quarter cycle marker.
Alternative counts are available:
Range 20 to 5000 PPR
Thistle Design Magnetic Sensors
Thistle Design have developed a range of two channel Magnetic Sensors which can operate at Temperatures between -40ºC and +150ºC and survive severe vibration and shock loading.
Based on Hall Effect Technology these sensors have been utilised in such diverse applications as Odometers, Speed and Direction Sensors (SDS), Distance Travelled Units (DTU) and so on.
The sensors are triggered by the proximity of a magnetic material and generate a digital pulse every time such an event occurs. A rotating spur gear may be used adjacent to the sensor to trigger it and a number of applications make use of this configuration.
For example: by detecting and counting the number of teeth on a vehicle gearbox component passing the sensor, and by adding and subtracting these counts depending on the direction of travel detected by the twin channel output, it is possible to calculate the distance travelled by the vehicle.
Similarly, where access to the gearbox is restricted, it is possible to attach a toothed wheel to one of the more accessible sections of the vehicle e.g. the driveshaft, and obtain the same data as before.
For more details of the sensors and for advice on their use, please contact Bob Frew.
Thistle Design Acquires Precision Varionics
With all Legal and Commercial formalities completed we are pleased to announce the addition of Potentiometer and Resolver supplier Precision Varionics to our portfolio.
The Analogue products and expertise they can provide complement perfectly the Digital sensor technology already established here at Thistle Design.
Precision Varionics design and manufacture precision potentiometers of the Wire-wound, Conductive Plastic and Hybrid types.
As such they have been involved in a number of joint ventures with Thistle Design in previous years in the fields of robotics and automation.
Their products are used in the Oil, Nuclear and Defence industries.
The Company will remain in it’s Andover location where General Manager John Heiron will continue to develop the business.
If you would like to find out more about the PV range of products and services call John direct on 01264 334522 or browse the website at www.varionics.co.uk
Large Hollow Shaft Encoder Helps Save The Planet
A large bore hollow shaft absolute encoder has been designed by Thistle Design to assist in an experimental solar power project being operated by Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The project involves manipulating the sun’s rays using an array of two hundred heliostats and focusing them on a power tower target. This has proved very successful and further developments are anticipated.
In these days of increasing concern over fossil fuel based methods of power production it is heartening to hear of large scale initiatives to harness environmentally friendly energy sources.
One such initiative being carried out at the Sandia National Laboratories is assisting in the development of solar energy driven power stations. Their national solar thermal test facility has an array of over two hundred heliostats focusing the sun’s rays on a target at the top of a 200 feet (60 metre) high tower.
The solar power collected by the heliostats is of order 5 Megawatts and could in theory generate 1 Megawatt of electricity. Experimental data gathered has been used to assist in the design of a 10 Megawatt plant in California.
Last year Sandia contacted Thistle Design to see if we could supply a 16 bit absolute encoder which would improve the performance and reliability of their heliostats. The encoder had to be designed to fit into the existing space envelope and have the same output code format as the previous version. It would also have to fit over a 7.24 inch (184mm) diameter shaft.
A period of discussion followed as engineers at Thistle Design and their Sandia counterparts tried to fully define the requirement and select the best technical solution to the problem. The optimised design resulted in the type 200HSA-102 encoder and a prototype unit was installed for evaluation purposes in 2006 and has been operating successfully since then.