Fast, open and ideally suited as a fieldbus for intralogistics: EtherCAT
Efficient handling of large amounts of data, such as those generated by fully automated warehouse and distribution logistics, requires the efficient and structured acquisition, storage and use of these data. The high-performance data acquisition at machine and plant level is ensured by EtherCAT. With outstanding performance, flexible topology selection, extensive diagnostics and simple configuration, EtherCAT meets all requirements for intelligent warehouse and distribution logistics. EtherCAT offers virtually unlimited network expansion and optimal vertical and horizontal integration via standard Ethernet and Internet technologies. In particular in the area of high-speed applications in material transport, significantly higher-performance systems can be realized by means of EtherCAT:
- communication with 12,000 digital I/Os in 350 µs
- communication with 200 analog I/Os (16 bit) in 50 µs, corresponds to a 20 kHz sampling rate
- communication with 100 servo axes every 100 µs
- up to 65,535 devices
EtherCAT uses low-cost Ethernet cables and supports flexible cabling topologies. In addition, EtherCAT devices do not require switches, special fieldbus cards or IP addresses. Existing network and fieldbus technologies as well as devices can be fully integrated into an EtherCAT-based system.
More than 6,000 companies worldwide, which have joined forces to form the EtherCAT Technology Group, now support the technology developed by us. Due to its widespread use around the world, a large number of EtherCAT-compatible devices, sensors and actuators are available on the market, which guarantees high investment security. For the modernization of existing plants we offer numerous gateway solutions that enable older or third-party technologies to be integrated into the new EtherCAT world.
While EtherCAT meets the vast majority of current requirements with a communication speed of 100 Mbit/s , EtherCAT G and EtherCAT G10 are already available for the future with bandwidths of 1 Gbit/s and 10 Gbit/s respectively, which can be seamlessly integrated into the existing EtherCAT system. With increasing demands on industrial image processing, complex motion controllers, IoT functions, high-end measurements and the associated increasing volume of data, these technologies will become increasingly important in order to realize future intralogistics systems.