ALPS has included the reflow-compatible EC21C, EC28C and EC35CH series in its lineup of ring type encoders and will start mass producing the models in turn before the end of the year. The products are suitable for use as controls for HVAC and audio systems inside vehicles, as well as major home appliances. Dial-type devices are often used as controls for HVAC and audio systems inside vehicles and are increasingly fitted with an LCD or other display showing information such as the temperature.
To achieve this kind of design, ring type encoders are used for the dial. Reflow soldering is used a lot in automotive component assembly these days as a way to solder components to circuit boards. The method involves first printing solder paste onto the board then soldering on the component by passing it through a zone of high temperature.
The industry has likewise been searching for encoders that suffer minimal heat distortion under high-temperature conditions and are therefore reflow-compatible so they can be soldered at the same time as other components. Listening to these needs, ALPS has improved heat resistance by making changes to the material used for existing encoder shafts and has included three reflow-compatible models, the EC21C, EC28C and EC35CH series, to its product lineup.
The EC21C Series is in fact the industry’s first reflow-compatible encoder with dimensions in the 22mm range. These three new series complementing existing encoder varieties improve design freedom for customers and help to reduce the assembly workload. A special cap accessory compatible with pick-up nozzles used for mounting is available with these series. Furthermore, original mechanical design and precision processing technologies were applied to minimise shaft rattle and achieve a premium operating feel.