Mechanical Counters and Electromechanical Counters
A mechanical counter is a type of totalizer. Essentially, a mechanical counter provides a visual display of a count of either ratcheting, reciprocating, or rotary input. This input is counted on a series of decade (0-9 numbered) wheels. An increase in count is registered on the mechanical counter by coupling it with a reciprocating machine action. Each mechanical counter usually requires a mechanical reset to return to a zero-count. When applying a mechanical counter, accessibility of the machine action and the feasibility of a manual reset should be considered.
Though a simple mechanical counter is a common example, predetermining counters are more complex. A predetermining counter operates by comparing the amount of input actuations to a preset value and then performing a control action when the amount of pulses reaches the set value. These control actions can take the form of relay or switch outputs. This type of mechanical counter is ideal for batch-sorting or measuring applications such as stopping a machine when the requisite amount of units have been produced. Additionally, mechanical counter products are rugged and durable.
An electromechanical counter, in contrast to a mechanical counter, uses an external power source to drive an internal count mechanism and output display. Both electromechanical counter and mechanical counter designs may also interface with a rotating or reciprocating machine action. But the electromechanical counter is able to be mounted further from the machine action (to facilitate easier reading of the display). The electromechanical counter is driven by voltage signal rather than direct movement of a mechanical part.