What is a CNC Manual Pulse Generator?

CNC machining is common in manufacturing nowadays. It completes the high-accuracy result with multiple processes in a short time by the computer. Besides, automation technology and minimal human input are the trends for a long time. In this era, we have various methods to complete one manufacturing procedure. So, how do we position the CNC machine and its axes to the zero point? There are four ways to complete this task: Using CNC control panel keys, control panel touch screen, computer software program setting, or manual pulse generator.

Actually, in some situations, we decide to use an encoder device called a manual pulse generator to operate it rather than using the machine panel or PC. Why? Because the manual pulse generator makes the operator achieve control the machine tools while walking around nearby. It is essential to learn about it when learning CNC machine functions. We will introduce this critical device in automation technology today. 

What is a CNC Manual Pulse Generator? 

A manual pulse generator (also called MPG, jog controller, CNC pendant controller, 
electronic hand wheel, CNC MPG pendant encoder, hand arterial wave generator, etc.) is an optical rotary encoder that generates manual input pulse for CNC machine tools. After rotating the MPG, it will send an electrical pulse to the CNC controller to adjust the movement distance of the manual handle feed. The MPG is used to set the working position and the zero point of the CNC machine. It is possible to manually control axes precisely without using the program, monitoring easily, and from distance freely. It offers convenience and accuracy.

They are operated using a handwheel and are typically equipped with a pendant. They can be connected to a PC/PLC using various types of connectors and are installed on the pendant, making them portable. 

Nowadays some of them are wireless. The size and weight of the MPG are not large or heavy, it is connected via cable, and it is portable. Their coding types are various such as binary coding, anti-binary coding, gray coding, anti-gray coding, and point-to-point…etc.

Working Principle of Manual Pulse Generator

The CNC MPG pendant consists of an emergency stop switch, LED light, a multiplication selection scale (X1, X10, X100, X1000), an axis selection switch (X, Y, Z, or more), a manual pulse generator, and cable. The back case is embedded with a permanent magnet. As we mentioned earlier, the MPG is a kind of encoder. The encoder is a sensor transferring motion to a signal, and sending it to the controller to follow the command.  It is widely used in machinery and related equipment for position and angle measurement. 

Before the CNC machine starts to process or set the offset, the operator will rotate the rotary knob manually, the CNC machine tool will be moved by step increments for each pulse from the MPG. Rotary switches are used to select the axis and change the output increment range. The MPG adjusts the position of the tool and spindle, NC machine tool origin correction, and signal division. The operator, therefore, uses this device to modify the axis location at a different velocity.

Besides, sometimes the PC or control panel is not next to the machine, it would not be easy to monitor the movement by eyes if you are in front of the computer instead of the machine. You can walk around when carrying the MPG in your hand, hence this is the reason for using it.

Check out our Customized Multi-axis MPG Pendant Handwheel here

Check out our Single Axis Control MPG Pendant Handwheel here

Benefits of Using Manual Pulse Generator

After learning the basics of MPG, let us take a look at its benefits:

  1. Suitable for automation control: Even in an automation system, there are still some situations where human power to adjust is needed, and this small encoder device is suitable for the operator to use. It achieves micro adjust perfectly.
  2. Convenience: Sometimes we just need to rotate the knob to adjust the position a little, no need to use the machine keys or type program codes, which is convenient and efficient.
  3. Portable: As mentioned above, it is installed on a pendant that can be carried. Some of them are even wireless.  

Application of Manual Pulse Generator

As stated before, the MPG is a handheld console widely used in manufacturing, here are some examples:
  • CNC cutting machine
  • CNC router: CNC machine that uses a router as a spindle to carve and engrave, widely used for woodworking.
  • Printing Machinery 
  • Machining Center: CNC machine that can complete different process without changing to another machines
  • Mechanical arm & robot: articulated robotic arms
  • Automated production equipment


Now we have learned that the handy MPG pendant is a unit of the CNC machine. It is used to manually adjust the movement of the machine and axes. Generate an electrical pulse to the CNC controller for manual feed. 

It is useful and efficient for manual micro-operation in automation control. On the other hand, the control panel is a great fit for operating a larger amount of movement, hence we use different devices depending on the situation and requirement. The MPG is widely applied in CNC machinery and automation control in many industries. The operator flexibly utilizes and controls equipment with the small console in his/her hand. It goes without saying its value. It is suggested to choose the MPG manufactured by an excellent manufacturer like YEU-LIAN, suitable for your needs and fit the major brands of CNC machines. It is crucial to select the right MPG since it also affects productivity and efficiency.

Looking for automation control solutions? Established in 1989, YEU-LIAN is one of the leading CNC manual pulse generator pendant encoder manufacturers in Taiwan. We are customer-oriented, and certified by ISO9001, IP67, CE, and RoHS. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more details or a quote. Our experienced team is more than happy to assist you with automation control!