EtherCAT Terminals Operate With Profibus, DeviceNet and CANopen Devices


The new EL67xx EtherCAT master and slave terminals from Beckhoff Automation bring manufacturers and machine builders a clear and open migration path toward next generation Ethernet implementation. These I/O terminals provide a direct interface to EtherCAT I/O nodes for all Profibus (EL6731), DeviceNet (EL6752) and CANopen (EL6751) devices. All EL67xx terminals are available in master and slave variants. The EL67xx terminals channel each fieldbus signal type through the EtherCAT protocol with full availability of the respective network’s features and functions. Due to the connection with EtherCAT, fieldbus PCI cards in PCs are no longer required. “While the new EL67xx terminals will not turn your Profibus, DeviceNet or CANopen devices into high speed, next generation EtherCAT devices, they will ensure complete system compatibility for these traditional fieldbus networks,” said Skip Hansen, I/O Systems Product Manager, Beckhoff Automation. “These terminals give users the flexibility to phase in the latest open industrial Ethernet technologies at their own speed without stranding less critical machines or machine lines as isolated islands on the plant floor.” The EL6731 terminal functions with all Profibus devices and channels the protocol through EtherCAT with all features and functions intact. Beckhoff Automation developed the Profibus chipsets used in the terminal to include the latest version of Profibus – this includes high-precision isochronous mode for axis control and expanded diagnostic features. Cycle times of 200 µs and freely configurable error management for each bus user are possible. Profibus-DP, -DP-V1 and -DP-V2 are supported. In addition the ability to integrate all DeviceNet devices, the EL6752 supports all DeviceNet I/O modes including polling, change of state, cyclic and strobed. The terminals are equipped with a host of features including Unconnected Message Manager (UCMM), Auto Device Replacement (ADR), Offline Connection Set, Device Heartbeat Messages and Device Shutdown Messages. Error management for each bus user is also freely configurable. The EL6751 CANopen terminal can send or receive CAN messages without having to bother with CAN frames in application programs. The terminal has a dynamic protocol implementation with numerous built in features. All CANopen PDO communication types are supported including: event-driven, time-driven (using an event timer), synchronous and polling.
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