An electronic counter is a device that stores (and often displays) the number of times a particular event or process has occurred. This can be in relationship to individual, intermittent signals from a sensor, switch or similar. In motion control systems the signal is often provided by a feedback device, such as an encoder or linear scale.
The counters can be used as:
- Position indicators for incremental and absolute SSI encoders and linear scales
- For batch counting
- As tachometers or frequency meters
- To monitor speed and/or motion
A counter can provide low-level control functions such as switching an output when a pre-set position has been reached. In the main they are used to indicate a value derived from the feedback device (similar to a digital read-out or DRO).