Real-time Ethernet: Ultra High-Speed Right Up to the Terminal from Beckhoff Automation

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Outstanding performance, flexible topology and simple configuration characterise EtherCAT (Ethernet for control automation technology), the real-time Ethernet technology from Beckhoff.

EtherCAT sets new standards where conventional fieldbus systems reach their limits: 1,000 distributed I/Os in 30 µs, almost unlimited network size, and optimum vertical integration thanks to Ethernet and internet technologies.

With EtherCAT, the costly Ethernet star topology can be replaced with a simple line or tree structure – no expensive infrastructure com¬ponents are required. All types of Ethernet devices can be integrated via a switch or switch port.

Where other real-time Ethernet approaches require special master or scanner cards, EtherCAT manages with very cost-effective standard Ethernet interface cards.

EtherCAT components
On the hardware side, EtherCAT technology is located in EtherCAT Terminals, for example. The I/O system in protection class IP 20 is based on the housing of the tried and tested Beckhoff Bus Terminal system. In contrast to Bus Terminals, where the fieldbus protocol data is converted within the Bus Coupler to the internal, fieldbus-independent terminal bus, the EtherCAT protocol remains fully intact down to the individual terminal.

In addition to EtherCAT Terminals with E-bus connection, the proven standard Bus Terminals with K-bus connection can also be connected via the BK1120 EtherCAT Bus Coupler. This ensures compatibility and continuity with the prevalent system. Existing and future investments are protected.

EtherCAT is integrated in further Beckhoff components, such as the Fieldbus Box in protection class IP 67. The extension modules can be connected directly via an IL230x-B110 EtherCAT Coupler Box. The EtherCAT Box modules, also in protection class IP 67, feature an integrated EtherCAT interface and can be connected directly to an EtherCAT network without an additional Coupler Box.

The Beckhoff Industrial PCs, the Embedded PCs of the CX series, the Control Panels with control functionality, and the Ethernet PCI cards already offer inherent EtherCAT capability. The Beckhoff Servo Drives are also available with EtherCAT interface. BECKHOFF Automation information and contact details


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11/10/12 - One-day EtherCAT seminars are being held in Australia and New Zealand this month focussing on the benefits and challenges of industrial Ethernet.
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30/07/12 - BECKHOFF Automation presents the XFC (eXtreme Fast Control0, a new range of EtherCAT PLCs with 12.5 μs cycle time continuously maintained from the PLC to the I/O signals.
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26/01/11 - BECKHOFF Automation supplies a new line of cost-effective EtherNet/IP bus couplers in a compact design
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02/12/10 - Beckhoff Automation offers open and flexible automation solutions for the printing and paper industry
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03/11/10 - The new EP6002 EtherCAT Box Module from BECKHOFF Automation allows the direct integration of external devices with a serial interface in the field without the use of a control cabinet.
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VIC 3166
Tel: 03 9912 5430
Fax: 03 8320 4730

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