Impervious to contaminants and interference fields: IMS-I integrated measuring system for rail system configurations.
Impervious to contaminants and interference fields: IMS-I integrated measuring system for rail system configurations.

The newly enhanced IMS-I integrated measuring system from Rexroth achieves maximum linear motion positioning accuracy even in challenging work environments. The compact solution for ball and roller rail systems has an inductive design that offers repeatable accuracy performance equivalent to that of more expensive glass scale systems. The incremental IMS-I provides feedback for distances of up to 4,500 mm, and allows several runner blocks to be positioned independently of each other on the same rail.

Whenever cooling lubricant and chips are introduced in the working environment or strong electric and magnetic fields disrupt sensor operation, designers and engineers require a travel measuring system that is as robust as it is accurate. The advanced IMS-I integrated measuring system from Rexroth is a great compact alternative which is rated for a positioning accuracy of 0.25 µm.

Integrated and precise

The integrated measuring system features a high-precision pitch etched into a steel strip. The scale is integrated into the profiled rail and protected by a tightly welded stainless steel strip across the entire rail section length. The tightly welded connection is capable of resisting extreme vibrations and impacts of up to 10 g, and Rexroth also integrates a highly sensitive evaluation electronics system in the runner blocks to facilitate position sensing close to the tool center point. Additional, external accessory attachments are not needed, which allows the integrated measuring system to fit into tight spaces with minimal effort. This, in turn, makes it possible to achieve straightforward, minimal footprint machine designs, and eliminate additional machine bed preparations needed for traditional alternatives.

In advancing the design of the IMS-I, Rexroth optimized the distance between the sensor and scale to further improve the system's ability to withstand the negative impacts of chips, dust, dirt, and contamination. The inductive measuring system operates without physical contact and is therefore a wear-free assembly. Travel paths of up to 4,500 mm can be measured with ease; the user can thus position several runner blocks independently of each other on a single profiled rail and the system will detect each position with exacting precision.

As accurate as a glass scale

Repeatability accuracy levels attain 0.25 µm and scale precision is +/- 3 µm/m, both of which allow the IMS-I to offer almost identical performance to that of a glass scale. Unlike the latter, the IMS-I with its IP 67 protection rating does not require any additional sealing or further contamination protection—thereby reducing overall system and operating costs. Rexroth integrates the entire IMS-I sensor system into all versions of its ball and roller rail systems to minimize assembly and servicing effort. Thanks to Rexroth‘s interchangeable rail system design, all runner blocks of corresponding sizes and configurations can be mounted to profiled rails of different accuracy classes, along with the IMS-I. Not only does this simplify the logistics of the commissioning process, but also makes exchange and replacement easy to minimize machine downtime.

The high level of accuracy and robust design of the IMS-I system make it suitable for a wide range of industrial applications, including those that involve positioning laser cutters, synchronizing ram or plunger units in presses, extracting PET bottles at high speeds, and assisting with woodworking tasks as well as 3D printer processes that produce abrasive dust. The IMS-I comes preconfigured for direct connection to IndraDrive servo drives from Rexroth and all other commonly available servo drive assemblies, and is able to handle both analog (1 Vss) and digital (TTL) signal types.

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About Bosch Rexroth:

Economical, precise, safe, and energy efficient: drive and control technology from Bosch Rexroth moves machines and systems of any size. The company bundles global application experience in the market segments of Mobile Applications, Machinery Applications and Engineering, Factory Automation, and Renewable Energies to develop innovative components as well as tailored system solutions and services. Bosch Rexroth offers its customers hydraulics, electric drives and controls, gear technology, and linear motion and assembly technology all from one source. With locations in over 80 countries, more than 36,700 associates generated sales revenue of approximately 5.7 billion euros ($7.6 billion) in 2013. To learn more, please visit

About Bosch:

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In 2013, its roughly 281,000 associates generated sales of 46.1 billion euros ($61.2 billion). Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Automotive Technology, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 50 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. In 2013, Bosch applied for some 5,000 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide that is “Invented for life.” Additional information is available online at, and

In the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the Bosch Group manufactures and markets automotive original equipment and aftermarket products, industrial drives and control technology, power tools, security and communication systems, packaging technology, thermotechnology, household appliances, healthcare telemedicine and software solutions. For more information, please visit, and


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