With the introduction of the new ER series, Beckhoff Automation has extended the range of applications served by the EtherCAT Box product line. Robust ER series I/O modules feature die-cast zinc housings that provide exceptional performance in severe environmental conditions, such as the heavy-duty and automotive industries or in robotics. Together with the EP and EQ module series, the EtherCAT Box I/O system covers a wide range of signals for all industrial applications, intended for installation outside of control cabinets, which can dramatically reduce equipment costs.
Utilizing die-cast zinc as the incredibly resilient housing material, the IP 67-rated I/O modules from the ER series can be used in extremely harsh industrial and process environments. Fully die-cast, they are ideally suited to applications demanding increased load capacity and durability. Typical application areas include heavy industry, such as press lines and metal foundries, as well as in automotive environments where die-cast zinc is standard, or for robotic applications that rely on resistance to weld spatter. The new ER series EtherCAT Box Modules are the ideal complement to existing variants in plastic and stainless steel housings. The plastic EP variant is well-suited for use in wet, dirty, or dusty environments in general mechanical engineering, in assembly technology, as well as in semiconductor and logistics environments. Additionally, the EQ module series with full ‘hygienic design,’ stainless steel housing, and IP 69K protection, is designed for applications in the food/beverage, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries.
Die-cast zinc modules cover a wide range of signals
The ER series modules are fully compatible with the EP series EtherCAT Box line and offer the same wide I/O selection: digital inputs with various filters, digital outputs with 0.5 A output current, and “combination modules” with freely configurable digital inputs or outputs. Moreover, analog input modules for current/voltage measurement are available. Temperature measurement modules, serial interfaces, encoder inputs, and motion modules supplement the range, adding another dimension of features and functionality.
The ER series’ space-saving 30 mm modules and 60 mm wide modules are available in several channel variations. With a height of just 126 mm and a depth of 26.5 mm, the ER modules are exceptionally compact. Field devices are connected to the ER series via standard M8 or M12 connectors, and the modules provide an EtherCAT interface, a power supply connection, and M8 plugs or sockets for signal forwarding. For high-current outputs, an option exists for a 7/8” power supply and an M12 EtherCAT socket. The EtherCAT Box Modules in the die-cast zinc housing are qualified for an extended operating temperature range of -25 to +60 °C (storage temperature -40 to +85 °C).
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