EtherCAT (Ethernet Control Automation Technology) is the Ethernet solution for industrial automation, characterised by outstanding performance and particularly simple handling. EtherCAT enables the Ethernet star topology to be replaced with a simple line structure. Optionally, EtherCAT can also be wired in the “classic” way using switches in order to integrate further Ethernet devices. The master requires no special plug-in card and can be implemented on any existing Ethernet controller using a very simple interface. EtherCAT is therefore also well suited for small and medium control applications, where it will open up new areas of application for distributed I/Os.
The IL230x-B110 Coupler Box extends EtherCAT for the IP 67 range. All Extension Box modules from the proven Beckhoff Fieldbus Box range can be connected via IP-Link. A station consists of an IL230x-B110 Coupler Box and any number of Extension Box modules (up to 120).
The Coupler Box detects the connected modules and automatically generates the allocation into the process image of the EtherCAT system. The upper EtherCAT interface is used to connect the Fieldbus Box to the network, the lower M12 socket can be used to connect further EtherCAT devices to the same strand. In the EtherCAT network, the IL230x-B110 Coupler Box can be installed anywhere in the Ethernet signal transfer section (100BASE-TX) – except directly at the switch.
The extensive diagnostic functions of the Beckhoff devices allow rapid fault localization. Diagnostic messages are transmitted via EtherCAT and collected by the master. LEDs on the module indicate the status of the network connection, the device status, the status of the inputs and outputs and of the power supply.
The EtherCAT Coupler Box gathers the I/O data from the Extension Box modules over the interference-free IP-Link optical fibre cable. It detects the connected modules and automatically allocates the input and output data to the process image. The Coupler Box has four digital inputs and four digital outputs; all other signal types are available in the form of an Extension Box.