Recently searched


    Digital Counters, also known as Mechanical Counters, Electronic Counters or Hour Metres, store and display the frequency of an occurring process, normally synchronised with a clock. They are used across various industrial and technical settings to measure parameters such as length, impulses, elapsed time, and position. This precise tracking is vital for ensuring operational efficiency and accuracy in environments like manufacturing lines or for maintenance scheduling in transportation.

    Counters operate by counting pulses or signals corresponding to events. Electronic counters, for instance, work on sequential logic circuits triggered by a clock input, incrementing each time an event occurs. The results can be used to automate actions like equipment shutdowns when a specific count is reached, making counters indispensable for process control and safety management.

    Types of Counters

    Digital Counters

    Digital counters are electronic and typically feature a digital display. They operate on a latching circuit or "flip-flop" mechanism. When the time reaches a set value, the relay switches from 1 position to the next (flip), and then switches back at the next preset value (flop). It latches in each position and holds it so that current can flow. For instance, in manufacturing settings, digital counters are frequently employed to track the number of products moving along an assembly line.

    Asynchronous or Ripple Counters

    Comprising several flip-flops, asynchronous or ripple counters count pulses applied to the counter's input. These will then be reflected as a binary value of pulses received. These counters are particularly useful in applications like digital clocks for managing the progression of seconds, minutes, and hours.

    Synchronous Counters

    Synchronous counters offer a reliable circuit for counting and are ideal for high-speed operation. The clock pulses in this circuit are simultaneously fed to every flip-flop in the chain. These are crucial in digital systems that require precise timing and coordination, such as in synchronous data transmission.

    Decade Counters

    Decade counters are used to count decimal digits rather than binary, facilitating applications where decimal counting is necessary. They are commonly employed in digital frequency counters for easy reading and measuring signal frequency.

    Ring Counters

    Ring counters utilise a cascade arrangement of flip flops in a ring, creating a continuous loop where the output of the last flip-flop is fed into the input of the first. This setup is used in applications requiring cyclic sequential logic, such as position encoders in robotics.

    Mechanical Counters

    Mechanical Counters are constructed with mechanical components, and usually consist of a series of disks mounted on an axle, with digits 0 through 9 on their edge. These are often seen in older machinery and classic cars, particularly in odometres for tracking distances.

    Hour Metres

    Also known as hour counters, these devices record elapsed time, normally displayed in hours and tenths of hours. Hour metres are essential in industrial equipment to log operating hours and help plan timely maintenance schedules, ensuring equipment longevity and reliability.

    Applications of Counters

    Applications of industrial electronic, digital or mechanical counters include:


    Industrial counters are used in factory automation systems to track production counts and monitor efficiency, such as tallying items on an assembly line to ensure throughput targets are met.

    Machine Building

    In machine building, counters help to measure the cycles of machinery, enabling precise control and maintenance scheduling, such as counting the number of presses in a stamping machine to predict wear and tear.

    Energy Management

    Counters are instrumental in energy management systems, where they monitor energy usage across different equipment, helping facilities to optimise power consumption and reduce costs, for example, by counting the rotations of turbines in a power plant.


    Counters are used in the medical sector to track dosages and usage cycles of medical equipment, ensuring accurate administration and maintenance, such as counting the number of uses of an X-ray machine to adhere to safety standards.


    Counters are utilised in transportation to monitor vehicle or component usage, aiding in maintenance and operational efficiency, like counting axle rotations to schedule maintenance for railway vehicles.

    How to Order Counters From RS

    RS provides a versatile range of counters to suit a variety of devices and functions. With digital, electromechanical, and purely mechanical counters available, RS provides a solution to industrial, commercial and project applications wherever precise counting and tallying is required. You'll find counters available from trusted brands such as Baumer, Omron, Red Lion, Kubler, Hengstler, Trumeter and our own RS PRO selection.

    Business account customers who order counters online from RS enjoy free delivery on all orders over $40 (excluding GST). For orders under this amount, a delivery fee of $10 is applied. Delivery is free for orders over $80 (excluding GST) for private accounts and guest customers, with a $12.95 fee applicable to smaller orders.

    Delivery Information for Australia

    To ensure the timely delivery of your counters, please place your orders by 5 pm AEST from Monday to Friday. We offer next working day delivery for items stocked locally, although some regional areas may experience extended delivery times. For a comprehensive overview of all our delivery services, including options like same-day delivery and consolidated shipments, please visit our delivery information page.

    Sort By
    1 of 1
    Results per page