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Article | December 13, 2012
Beckhoff Automation: EtherCAT coupler
Beckhoff’s EK18xx EtherCAT Coupler series integrates 12 built-in digital I/Os to reduce the costs and cabinet space requirements of Industrial Ethernet I/O systems.
In addition to a connection for high-performance EtherCAT I/O terminals, the EK18xx series integrates EtherCAT digital I/Os into its standard coupler housing. This results in a compact solution with dimensions of just 44 mm x 100 mm x 68 mm (W x H x D) that is especially suitable for applications that only require a small number of I/Os. This I/O coupler integrates an HD (High Density) Terminal, which offers 16 I/O connection points in a compact format. Four of these channels are reserved for the supply voltage; however, the remaining, up to 12 channels are available for digital I/Os that previously would have required the purchase of a separate I/O terminal. The 12 available channels on the EK18xx series can be configured in different I/O combinations to suit the respective application. The EK18xx coupler series combines the functionalities of the popular EK1100 EtherCAT Coupler with standard digital EtherCAT I/Os in one compact housing. Like the existing EK1100 coupler, the new EK18xx couplers can be extended into a full industrial Ethernet I/O system using all EtherCAT Terminals available from Beckhoff Automation.The following EK18xx series EtherCAT Coupler variants are available: EK1814: 4 digital inputs / 4 digital outputs •EK1818: 8 digital inputs / 4 digital outputs; EK1828: 4 digital inputs / 8 digital outputs; EK1828-0010: 8 digital outputs Tailored to applications with a small number of I/O points and restrictive space conditions, the EK18xx coupler offers the user a precisely dimensioned solution to reduce the burden on already constricted control cabinets. The EtherCAT Terminal system is a modular industrial Ethernet I/O system that delivers industry-leading communication speed and precision. The EtherCAT protocol is retained completely right down to the individual terminal, assuring low microsecond-level response times. Cost-effective EtherCAT Terminals are available for all common digital and analog signal types encountered in the world of automation. Lower-level bus systems such as DeviceNet, PROFIBUS, SERCOS and others can be integrated via local master/slave terminals.
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