Press Release

24th November 2015
One Cable Automation for the field level
EtherCAT P – Ultra-fast communication and power in one cable
EtherCAT P integrates the EtherCAT Industrial Ethernet protocol and peripheral voltage into one cable. In addition, EtherCAT P enables the direct forwarding of a power supply via the devices. The combination of high-performance EtherCAT communication and the flexible, unrestricted network topology options make EtherCAT P the ideal bus system for sensors, actuators and measurement technology. With this One Cable Automation solution, material and assembly costs are reduced and installation space is minimised for drag chains and control cabinets, which can result in a smaller machine footprint.

With EtherCAT P, Beckhoff will present a technology at the SPS IPC Drives 2015 trade show that unites EtherCAT communication and power functions in a standard, 4-wire Ethernet cable. The space-saving technology integrates the 24 V DC supply of the EtherCAT P slaves with the signals and data from connected sensors and actuators. In addition, the system electrically isolates the US (system and sensor supply) and UP (peripheral voltage for actuators) from each other, each with up to 3 A of current for the connected components.

All the benefits of EtherCAT are retained, such as: the free choice of network topology, high speed, optimum bandwidth utilisation, telegram processing on-the-fly, highly precise synchronisation and extensive diagnostics. The currents of US and UP are directly injected into the wires of the 100 Mbit/s cable, resulting in a very cost-effective and compact connection.

EtherCAT P: from the 24 V sensor to the 600 V drive

EtherCAT P offers benefits both for connection of smaller, remote I/O stations in terminal boxes, as well as for decentralised I/O components locally in the process. It covers all applications from the 24 V I/O level through to drives with 400 V AC or 600 V DC, and with currents of up to 64 A. In addition, a family of plug connectors has been specially developed for EtherCAT P to rule out the possibility of incorrect connection to standard EtherCAT slaves.

One Cable Automation

With the ability to transmit higher currents, EtherCAT P paves the way toward automation without control cabinets. With One Cable Automation, automation components or small terminal boxes receive the necessary control data and power with just one cable and the corresponding branches, helping eliminate large control and electrical cabinets. The EtherCAT P product portfolio will be further expanded in the future with a wide range of infrastructure components.

System components in IP 20 and IP 67

Beckhoff offers an extensive product family enabled with EtherCAT P, consisting of infrastructure components, I/O systems, cable sets and plug connectors. For example, the new EPP EtherCAT P Box family offers numerous I/O devices for use directly in the field and installation outside of electrical cabinets. These compact and robust IP 67 I/O modules cover a wide range of signals, from standard digital I/Os to complex analog and measurement technologies.

An open industrial Ethernet technology developed by Beckhoff, EtherCAT was presented for the first time in 2003 and has been an international IEC and SEMI standard since 2007. Disclosure of the EtherCAT P specification is handled through the independent and globally-acting EtherCAT Technology Group.

EtherCAT P highlights:

  • EtherCAT plus 2 x 24 V DC (UP, US) in one 4-wire Ethernet cable
  • daisy-chained power supply through EtherCAT P devices
  • reduced material and assembly costs
  • minimised installation space for drag chains, control cabinets and machine footprint
  • scalable connector family from 24 V to 600 V, 64 A
  • lower connection costs with outstanding EtherCAT performance
  • flexible EtherCAT network topology is retained

Press picture

  • The one cable solution for the field level – EtherCAT P integrates EtherCAT communication, as well as the system and peripheral voltage, in one cable.

    Picture caption:

    The one cable solution for the field level – EtherCAT P integrates EtherCAT communication, as well as the system and peripheral voltage, in one cable.

Further information:

EtherCAT

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