- August 08, 2012
- Beckhoff Automation
August 8, 2012 – Beckhoff Automation introduced EtherCAT I/O devices with “Fast Hot Connect” capabilities. With the new EK1101-0080 EtherCAT Coupler and the EK1122-0080 EtherCAT junction module with Fast Hot Connect, the connection time for these kinds of changeovers is reduced to 1 second, increasing productivity as a result. Hot Connect is a long-standing characteristic inherent to EtherCAT for changing topologies via direct coupling or decoupling during operation. This technology is used, for example, for fast tool changes on robots so that the cycle times are shortened and throughput is increased. Benefits can be enjoyed by a wide range of manufacturing processes including those in the food & beverage, packaging, pharmaceutical, plastics and metalworking industries. Using Fast Hot Connect, system components are coupled into and decoupled from the EtherCAT-enabled control system with the ease of plug-and-play. In metalworking machines, for example, this results in extremely fast tool changes. The time required for the tool change is added 1:1 to the cycle time; therefore, a shortening of the tool change time also results in a shortening of the cycle time and throughput is increased. The TwinCAT automation suite from Beckhoff supports Fast Hot Connect on the master side. The EtherCAT Terminal system is a modular and high performance Industrial Ethernet I/O system. EtherCAT’s technological features support shorter cycle times, much faster network communication speeds, increased precision in manufacturing and more. Beckhoff Automation provides advanced, open automation products based upon proven technologies so that customers can implement high performance control systems faster and at a lower overall cost than traditional PLC and motion control systems. Beckhoff’s “New Automation Technology” product range includes PC based control, industrial PCs, automation controllers, operator interface, I/O, servo drives and motors. With representation in more than 60 countries, Beckhoff is well positioned to provide global sales and service to its customers. Beckhoff sales and service are handled directly, with no intermediaries involved for exceptional customer service and consultation.