Heidenhain Donates Exposed Optical Encoders To Support ASPE Student Challenge

The twelve Numerik Jena LIKgo encoders will be incorporated into the six critical XY stages of the annual precision engineering student competition.


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The Numerik Jena LIKgo encoders Heidenhain donated to the ASPE Student Challenge

Photo Credit: Heidenhain Corporation

Heidenhain Corp. (Schaumburg , Illinois) donated twelve Numerik Jena LIKgo exposed optical encoders to support the current ASPE Student Challenge. With six university teams competing, Heidenhain says these encoders will be incorporated into the six critical XY stages being provided to the student teams for use in the competitions being held this year and next.  The universities competing in the current ASPE Student Challenge include the University of Texas at Austin, North Carolina State University, University of Michigan, University of Michigan in Dearborn, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Navajo Technical University.

“The ASPE Student Challenge is an annual precision engineering student competition inviting students from engineering and technical disciplines to participate in designing and building a precision mechanical system and showcasing their precision engineering efforts/skills during the competition at an annual conference,” explains ASPE Student Challenge committeeman Luis Aguirre of 3M. “We are very thankful to Heidenhain for its donation enabling these students to utilize exacting tools to conduct their research and complete their projects for the competition.”

Since this year’s annual October ASPE meeting has gone to a virtual setting due to the global pandemic, the parameters of the original 2020 Student Challenge have been changed to two parts. The goal of the 2020 Challenge is to build a scribe tool controller and Z-axis mechanism that can be integrated with an XY scanning platform to produce a mechanical ruling system. A student’s work can be completed in a safe school setting or at their homes, with reports, videos and online Q&As required for submission. Awards will be presented for this Part A section on Oct. 21, 2020.

The in-person October 2021 Student Challenge will require the teams to demonstrate the scribe tool controller mounted into an XY stage at the conference to generate a grating pattern with 50 lines per millimeter over a minimum 5 millimeter-by-3 millimeter substrate area (a total of 150-250 lines). A winner for Part B will be selected at that time.

“As supporters of ASPE, we believe it is important to encourage R&D and our students anytime we can, especially during these difficult times,” says Heidenhain’s director of Communications Tom Wyatt. “The gift of the Numerik Jena LIKgo exposed optical encoders with their two-field scanning technology and very high signal quality promise to meet the needs of this challenge.” According to Heidenahin, the lightweight LIKgo encoders can be used in a wide range of applications, are easy to install and offer users a 20-micrometer (µm) grating period and measuring steps up to 78.125 nanometers.