Beckhoff Introduces the Era of One Cable Automation with EtherCAT P

Dec. 9, 2015
With the newly introduced EtherCAT P technology, Beckhoff unites EtherCAT communication and power functions in a standard, 4-wire Ethernet cable.

With the newly introduced EtherCAT P technology, Beckhoff unites EtherCAT communication and power functions in a standard, 4-wire Ethernet cable. The innovative, space-saving One Cable Automation technology integrates the 24 V DC supply of the EtherCAT P slaves with the signals and data from connected sensors and actuators. In addition, the system electrically isolates the US (system and sensor supply) and UP (peripheral voltage for actuators) from each other, each with up to 3 A of current for the connected components.

All the benefits of EtherCAT are included in EtherCAT P, such as: the free choice of network topology, high speed communication, optimum bandwidth utilization, telegram processing on-the-fly, highly precise synchronization and extensive diagnostics functionality. The US and UP currents are directly injected into the wires of the 100 Mbit/s cable, resulting in a cost-effective and compact connection.

EtherCAT P: from the 24 V sensor to the 600 V drive
EtherCAT P offers benefits both for the connection of smaller, remote I/O stations in terminal boxes, as well as for decentralized I/O components locally in the process. It covers all applications from the 24 V I/O level through to drives with 400 V AC or 600 V DC, including currents of up to 64 A. In addition, a family of plug connectors has been developed by Beckhoff specifically for EtherCAT P to rule out the possibility of incorrect connection to standard EtherCAT slaves.
With the ability to transmit higher currents, EtherCAT P paves the way toward automation without control cabinets. With One Cable Automation, connected automation components or small terminal boxes receive the necessary control data and power with just one cable and the corresponding branches, helping eliminate large control and electrical cabinets while reducing machine and plant footprint. Beckhoff will further expand the EtherCAT P product portfolio in the future with a wide range of infrastructure components.

System components with IP 20 and IP 67 ratings
Beckhoff offers an extensive product family enabled for EtherCAT P, consisting of infrastructure components, I/O systems, cable sets and plug connectors. For example, the new EPP EtherCAT P Box family offers numerous I/O devices for use directly in harsh environments and installation outside of electrical cabinets. These compact and robust IP 67 I/O modules cover a wide range of signals, from standard digital I/Os to complex analog and measurement technologies.
An open industrial Ethernet technology developed by Beckhoff, EtherCAT debuted in 2003 and has been an international IEC and SEMI standard since 2007. Disclosure of the EtherCAT P specification occurs through the independent and globally-acting EtherCAT Technology Group.

EtherCAT P highlights at a glance:

- EtherCAT plus 2 x 24 V DC (UP, US) in one 4-wire Ethernet cable

- Daisy-chained power supply through EtherCAT P devices

- Reduced material and assembly costs

- Minimized installation space for drag chains, control cabinets and machine footprint

- Scalable connector family from 24 V to 600 V, 64 A

- Lower connection costs with outstanding EtherCAT performance

- Flexible EtherCAT network topology is retained

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