Serviceline Industrial Sensors
Serviceline Explosion Protection

Optical Linear Positioning (WCS)

In 1989, Pepperl+Fuchs introduced the WCS position encoding system—the world’s first optical positioning system—and has been continuously improving it ever since. Optical linear positioning systems are used for millimeter-precise detection of the position of shuttle cars and conveyor vehicles. Whether indoors or outdoors, the WCS is resistant to ambient light because of its u-shaped design, and its photoelectric scanning protects against wear.

Smoke, dust, and temperature fluctuations have no impact—the WCS provides reliable positioning information, even at high speeds. Position value can even be reliably determined in challenging environments since controlling the light intensity can compensate for contamination. The position encoding system also detects a new position value every 0.8 mm and can transmit position values directly from the read head to the controller via a serial RS-485 interface.

For applications with extreme ambient conditions or especially long distances, the WCS Outdoor and WCS Extended (can optionally be combined with Outdoor) have also been developed.

  • WCS read heads: A u-shaped read head provides non-contact photoelectric scanning of the code rail.
  • WCS interface modules: A wide range of interface modules are available for connecting the WCS read heads to standard interfaces. Up to four read heads can be connected simultaneously to all but the SSI interface.
  • WCS mechanics: Rugged and flexible code rails are required for read heads to work over a defined distance. Our dirt-resistant code rails are suitable for curved tracks, inclines, etc. Pepperl+Fuchs also offers mounting bracket systems for laying code rails, aluminum profile systems for especially long distances, and a guide trolley to ensure the reader stays on track even in heavy duty vibration applications.

Accessories include:

  • Twisted-pair cable (suitable for drag chains)
  • WCS read head and LM block spare parts
  • Protective housing for retrofitting read head


  • Reliable and precise absolute position detection with the sophisticated position encoding system
  • Reliable position detection even on curved tracks, inclines, declines, lane changes, and gradients
  • Flexible integration due to compatibility with all common control systems
  • IP69 protective housing for use in extreme outdoor applications in shipping ports and electroplating plants
  • Simple setup and error indication: translucent protective housing enables clearly visible LED status indicators and display

Position Encoding System WCS

The WCS position encoding system has been on the market since 1989 and now offers new mounting options such as the WCS Outdoor and WCS Extended ...