EL5xxx | EtherCAT Terminals, position measurement

Fast counting as well as position detection by means of absolute or incremental displacement systems is indispensable in many automation applications. With the EtherCAT Terminals from the EL5xxx series, Beckhoff offers the right solution for precise measurement tasks in the field of position, frequency and displacement/angle measurement.


  • fine scalability of channel density and functional scope
  • integrated sensor supply
  • realization of simple automation solutions, even for complex systems, due to numerous functions
  • synchronization of the position value with other processes thanks to the Distributed Clocks function

Areas of application:

  • position, speed of rotation and velocity measurement
  • positioning tasks for Motion Control applications
  • piece goods counting

Absolute position detection
The EL5xxx enables the evaluation of linear and rotary encoders and measuring probes as well as position measuring systems and absolute encoders with SSI (synchronous serial interface), EnDat-2.2 or BISS-C interface. Many modules are equipped with an integrated sensor supply. Extensive parameterization options allow all standard sensors in both single-turn and multi-turn versions to be connected and evaluated. In addition, it is possible to evaluate inductive displacement measuring sensors – these include measuring probes in LVDT and half-bridge versions or inductive angular position sensors in an RVDT version.

Incremental position detection
Furthermore, incremental signals with SinCos 1 Vss, differential signals with RS422, 5 V single-ended signals of TTL or Open Collector Encoders as well as 24 V HTL encoder signals can also be evaluated. 24 V digital inputs can be used to store, disable and set the counter value. Functions such as micro-increments, timestamp and oversampling also enable finely resolved position detection. EtherCAT's Distributed Clocks function ensures an exact synchronization of the position value with other processes.

Ex i, incremental position detection
The ELX51xx EtherCAT Terminal series allows the direct connection of an intrinsically safe incremental encoder from potentially explosive atmospheres of zones 0/20 and 1/21.

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