EtherCAT Terminals


EK1xxx, BK1xx0 | EtherCAT Coupler

The EtherCAT Couplers are the link between the EtherCAT protocol at fieldbus level and the EtherCAT Terminals.

EKxxxx | Bus Coupler

The Bus Couplers for EtherCAT Terminals are used to connect conventional fieldbus systems with EtherCAT.

EL1xxx | Digital input

The EL1xxx EtherCAT Terminals enable the acquisition of binary signals from the process level.

EL2xxx | Digital output

The EL2xxx EtherCAT Terminals generate binary signals and forward them to the process level.

EL3xxx | Analog input

The EL3xxx EtherCAT Terminals process analog input signals for voltage, current, temperature and other measured variables.

EL4xxx | Analog output

The EL4xxx EtherCAT Terminals output analog signals with the levels 0 to 10 V, ±10 V, 0 to 20 mA and 4 to 20 mA.

EL5xxx | Position measurement

The EL5xxx EtherCAT Terminals are intended for the evaluation of complex signals from absolute and incremental encoders.

EL6xxx | Communication

With the EL6xxx EtherCAT Terminals, terminal stations become a universal gateway between different systems.

EL/ELM7xxx | Compact drive technology

The EtherCAT Terminals from the EL7xxx and ELM7xxx series enable the direct connection of various drive technologies.

EL9xxx | System

The EL9xxx EtherCAT Terminals complete the I/O system with functions such as power supply, fusing and filtering.

ELMxxxx | Measurement technology

The ELMxxxx EtherCAT measurement terminals are designed for versatile use both in the industry and on the test bench.

ELXxxxx | Explosion protection (Ex i)

The EtherCAT Terminals from the ELX series with intrinsically safe inputs/outputs enable the connection of field devices up to zone 0/20.

ELxxxx-0020/-0030 | Calibration certificates

The calibration certificates provide information on the exact measurement deviation of analog EtherCAT Terminals.

ELxxxx-0090 | TwinSAFE SC

The TwinSAFE SC technology enables the user to use standard signals for safety tasks in any network or fieldbus system.

ELx9xx | TwinSAFE

With the integration of TwinSAFE, the high performance of EtherCAT is now also available for safety technology.

Ultra high-speed communication

The wide range of EtherCAT Terminals consists of electronic terminal blocks applied in the control cabinet or terminal box. Unlike the fieldbus-neutral Bus Terminals, the fast EtherCAT standard is integrated right into the individual EtherCAT Terminal. Futhermore, the EtherCAT Terminal system offers extensive solutions for implementing all tasks and challenges in automation technology: a suitable product is available for almost every type of signal and application area. The EtherCAT network also allows the integration of other fieldbus protocols.

Advantages at a glance

Senior Product Manager Michael Jost presents flexible I/O devices as fundamental components of reliable sensor technology and communication for edge computing and automation.
Senior Product Manager Michael Jost presents flexible I/O devices as fundamental components of reliable sensor technology and communication for edge computing and automation.

The robust housings, secure contacting and solidly built electronics are prominent features of Beckhoff components. An I/O station consists of an EtherCAT Coupler and almost any number of terminals. Since up to 65,535 devices can be connected, the size of the network is practically unlimited.

The electronic terminal blocks can be easily attached to the EtherCAT Coupler on a standard mounting channel. The contacts are made as the terminal clicks into place, with no further action. Each terminal remains individually exchangeable. Horizontal fitting, as well as all other installation methods are permitted.

Similar to the Bus Terminals, the EtherCAT Terminals' external contour perfectly fits the dimensions of terminal boxes. A clear front connection panel with LEDs for the status display and the insertable contact labeling ensure clarity on-site. The flexible conductor connection technologies allow the usage of the EtherCAT Terminals in almost every application without additional wiring work. The 3-wire technology, optionally supplemented by a protective conductor connection, enables the direct link of sensors and actuators to the terminal.

The fine granularity of the EtherCAT Terminals enables bit-precise composition of the required I/O channels.

The digital EtherCAT Terminals for generating and processing binary signals are designed as 2-, 4-, 8- and 16-channel terminals. The 16-channel HD (High Density) version compresses 16 digital input and output channels into a standard terminal housing with a width of just 12 mm.

The analog input terminals for the acquisition of analog signals from the field can process a wide range of measured variables, such as current, voltage, temperature and resistance. In addition to the signal type, the terminals also differ in terms of signal resolution and measuring accuracy. In the analog output range, the standard signals of ±10 V, 0…10 V, 0…20 mA and 4…20 mA are consistently available as 1-, 2-, 4-, or 8-channel versions in standard housing. The EtherCAT Terminal portfolio also offers comprehensive solutions for special measurement applications, such as energy and power measurement, drive control and the evaluation of various encoder interfaces.

With various connection options, the EtherCAT Terminal system allows optimal adaptation to the respective application. In the ELxxx EtherCAT Terminals, electronics and connection level are located in one housing. The connection interface is available in 8- and 16-pin versions. The 16-pin HD (High Density) terminals are characterized by a high channel density in a housing width of just 12 mm. A further connection interface for increasing the channel density is the ribbon cable connection (e.g. EL1862).

In contrast, the EtherCAT Terminals of the ESxxxx type contain a pluggable wiring level, so that in case of service the entire wiring can be removed from the top side of the housing as one connector.

The EtherCAT measuring terminals from the ELMxxxx series also have a flexible connector front end: Some are equipped with LEMO®, BNC connectors or an exchangeable push-in interface.

Developed by Beckhoff in 2003, EtherCAT is an ultra-fast communication system based on the standard Ethernet. By reducing the overhead of the standard Ethernet protocol and utilizing the full-duplex property, communication on the fly is made possible: While the telegram sequentially passes through all devices connected to the master, each device takes out the data addressed to it and inserts its own data at the same place. The telegram is delayed only by hardware propagation times. As a result, unforeseeable delays are avoided and hard real-time capability is guaranteed

With EtherCAT, communication speeds of 100 Mbit/s can be realized. EtherCAT G, the continuation of the EtherCAT protocol presented by Beckhoff in 2018, even enables speeds of 1 Gbit/s and 10 Gbit/s.

Suitable EtherCAT Terminals are available for all common digital and analog signal types encountered in the world of automation. Fieldbus devices, e.g. for PROFIBUS, PROFINET, CANopen, DeviceNet, Interbus, IO-Link or Lightbus are integrated via decentralized fieldbus master/device terminals. Using the BK1150 or BK1120 EtherCAT Bus Couplers, even the proven standard Bus Terminals with K-bus connection can be connected. Furthermore, the BK1250 allows the mixed-use of Bus Terminals and EtherCAT Terminals in one segment. This ensures compatibility with and continuity to the Bus Terminal system to protect existing and future investments.

The extensive EtherCAT Terminal portfolio offers products for various applications. The ELXxxxx terminals in the blue housing are suitable for use in hazardous areas. They meet all standards and certifications for explosion protection and allow the direct connection of intrinsically safe sensors and actuators.

The ELMxxxx modules are particularly suitable for applications with high requirements for measuring speed and low measurement uncertainty. The measuring terminals in the metal housing offer optimum heat dissipation, measurement uncertainties of <100 ppm and sampling rates of up to 50,000 samples/s.

Appropriate components are also available in the EtherCAT Terminal product portfolio for safety-relevant tasks. These include the ELx9xx series TwinSAFE Terminals in the yellow housing and the ELxxxx-0090 TwinSAFE SC Terminals for the use of standard signals in safety technology.