Dr. Johannes Heidenhain GmbH is a specialist in the development and production of encoders and controls. The company manufactures rotary encoders, linear and angle encoders, position indicators and numerical controls that serve its customers for demanding positioning activities. Heidenhain products are characterized by the extensive know-how of its employees and are used in high-precision machine tools as well as in production systems for electronic components. Heidenhain thus supplies important products for the ever-advancing automation of production systems and machines.

The company was founded in 1889 as a metal etching shop in Berlin and manufactured stencils, signs, scales and graduations. After the company was destroyed during World War II, the son of the founder founded a new company in Traunreut, Dr. Johannes Heidenhain. In the beginning, only graduations and scales for scales were produced, but over the years more and more control and drive technology products for machine tools were added. Today, Heidenhain is represented in almost all industrialized countries with its own locations.

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Quality, resource-saving production and economical use of energy.

At the heart of Heidenhain’s philosophy is the quality of its products. The high standard that the company pursues in this regard is ensured by certification in accordance with DIN ISO 9001 quality management and approval as a DAkkS test center for the measurands length and angle. Heidenhain is also certified in accordance with the DIN ISO 14001 environmental declaration. This certifies organizations for the particularly long service life and recycling-friendly design of their products, and also stands for resource-saving production and economical use of energy.

High-quality products

The company ensures the high quality of its products by using special production facilities and measuring equipment. For example, the originals and copies needed for scale production are manufactured in a clean room building built just for this purpose. There, employees apply special measures to stabilize the temperature and isolate vibrations. Heidenhain also designs and builds the copying equipment and the machines needed to produce and measure the linear and circular graduations.

The Heidenhain product portfolio

Heidenhain’s extensive product-portfolio offers solutions for use in high-precision machine tools, production and processing equipment for electronic components, and automated systems and machines. Elevator manufacturers and medical technology also benefit from some of the high-precision products. In addition to absolute accuracy and reproducibility, the products are characterized by their process control, high machine dynamics and ease of operation.

The company offers the following products or product categories:

  • Linear encoders: sealed or open
  • Angle encoders: sealed angle encoders, modular angle encoders with optical scanning, modular angle encoders with magnetic scanning, angle encoder modules
  • Rotary encoders: With or without integral bearing
  • Length gauges
  • CNC controls: CNC controls and motors, accessories
  • Follow-on electronics: Evaluation electronics, position indicators, interface electronics
  • Touch probes for measuring workpieces and tools
  • Others: inspection and test equipment, cross-grid measuring equipment

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Possible areas of application for Heidenhain products.

Heidenhain makes a point of demonstrating its metrology expertise and customer proximity in solutions tailored specifically to the user. These include, in particular, measuring and test equipment developed for laboratories around the world, as well as angle encoders for telescopes and satellite antennas.

Heidenhain’s probes exemplify the company’s high quality standards and the wide range of applications for its products. For example, the different models of touch probes are suitable for filigree parts with zero measuring force, high-precision measurements and multi-point measuring stations.


This device is an absolute measuring probe. The advantage of the model is the avoidance of counting errors, which often occur in highly dynamic measuring tasks – for example, in test stands – when incremental encoders are used. The cause of these errors is usually to be found in the excessively high speeds or the strong vibrations. The ACANTO series, on the other hand, continuously determines the absolute position value without reference travel for each inquiry and provides the corresponding figures. If an error occurs during the formation of the position value, an alarm bit is triggered via the diagnostic interface, followed by a status check of the probe. The process capability of the system thus benefits enormously from this diagnostic function.

Another advantage of the ACANTO probes is the sliding guide with ceramic bushing. This is more robust and less susceptible to contamination than a ball guide, making it the best solution for conflicting requirements of robustness and repeatability.


Thanks to its thermally invariant design, the HEIDENHAIN-CERTO CT 6001 ensures maximum precision and repeatability at temperatures from 19 to 21 degrees Celsius. The heat input by the user is reduced to a minimum. The probe’s electronic drive enables three measuring forces and an extremely constant probing force over the full measuring length.

The accuracy is 0.1 micrometer and the repeatability 0.03 micrometer, making the Certo probe the most accurate measuring device ever over a distance of 60 millimeters. The measurement protocol documents the value for linear error compensation, so that, together with the ND 287 evaluation electronics, an accuracy of +/-0.05 micrometers is possible.


This device is used for measuring very filigree parts, for example in watchmaking. The measuring force, which ranges from 0.01 N to 0.07 N, ensures that the workpieces are not deformed and the components are not damaged. For these demanding measurements with a measuring path of 12 millimeters, the scope of delivery includes a specially adapted insert with replaceable pin. The device also features a ball guide with extremely constant friction ratios and a quill lifter included in the scope of delivery. The latter enables immediate control of the measuring process.

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The touch probes of the SPECTO series are the optimal solution for multi-position measuring stations with only 15 millimeters of add-on dimension and the merging of individual measuring steps during machining. They can be combined with different evaluation electronics and thus perfectly matched to the respective application. In this way, several measured values can also be acquired simultaneously.

Due to the add-on dimension of less than 15 millimeters, several probes can be used even in a small space. To save space, the cables can be connected axially or radially. The devices also have high protection classes of up to IP67, making them ideal for in-process measurements.

Heidenhain offers various evaluation electronics for further processing of the measured values at multi-point measuring stations.


Thanks to the bidirectional EnDat 2.2. interface, the ACANTO models provide valuable information on measurements that can be used in Industry 4.0 to examine the quality of each machining step. In addition to the position value, this includes other important data, such as that on the actual state of the device. In this way, the user can constantly monitor the scanning function reserve and is informed by warning signals and alarm tones about components threatened by failure.

Thanks to their EnDat 2.2 interface, the ACANTO length gauges thus score with a high level of diagnostic capability. With the appropriate follow-up electronics, it is possible for the device to carry out an independent configuration of the measuring step with the transmitted data. Two areas of the company in particular benefit from this added value: on the one hand, quality assurance is better able to determine and improve the quality of the measurement with the diagnostic data made available. On the other hand, machine maintenance can initiate inspections at an early stage with the help of the information gained in this way and thus avoid unnecessary downtimes in production.

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+49 (0)511 89 88 09 0

+49 (0)511 89 88 09 0
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