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Digital Factory Comes into Focus at Hannover Messe 2018
May 22, 2018

Digital Factory Comes into Focus at Hannover Messe 2018

By Bill Lydon, Editor, Automation.com
Resembling more a bustling city than a trade fair, the 71st Hannover Messe was very busy and chock full of energy and innovation this year, with over 200,000 attendees from 75 countries. Focusing on the theme 'Integrated Industry – Connect & Collaborate', the Digital Factory was front and center.

Implementing Industrial Ethernet: The challenges of connecting a multiprotocol network
July 20, 2017

Implementing Industrial Ethernet: The challenges of connecting a multiprotocol network

By Andrew McIntyre, Texas Instruments
At the core of Industry 4.0 is the need for reliable communication networks. These networks are closely tied to real-time operational needs; therefore, they must be able to handle information in a deterministic and redundant manner.

How Microsoft Is Leveraging OPC UA to Get an Irreplaceable Position in Your Factory
June 19, 2017

How Microsoft Is Leveraging OPC UA to Get an Irreplaceable Position in Your Factory

By John Rinaldi, Real Time Automation
In their latest series of announcements, it’s clear that OPC UA is key to Microsoft’s strategy of entering and dominating the factory floor through its Azure cloud services.

Programmable SoC (System on a Chip) Driving EtherCAT Implementations
January 11, 2016

Programmable SoC (System on a Chip) Driving EtherCAT Implementations

By Punya Prakash and David Zaucha, Texas Instruments
To date, the implementations of EtherCAT slave node have largely been dominated by hardware intensive solutions used to perform on-the-fly real-time processing and synchronization. Recent advances in technology have created programmable system-on-a-chip (SoC) devices that offer very tangible equipment costs savings, versatility and longer life cycles to industrial systems users.

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Synchronizing Industrial Ethernet networks
June 23, 2015

Synchronizing Industrial Ethernet networks

Industrial Ethernet Book
By Joey Stubbs, EtherCAT Technology Group.
Automation engineers can develop architectures that meet the demands of their applications by understanding the differences between distributed clocks and the IEEE 1588 precision time protocol. Two different approaches to industrial Ethernet network synchronization provide application advantages.

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EtherCAT Allows Ease of Use and Real-Time Performance for Distributed Systems
May 25, 2015

EtherCAT Allows Ease of Use and Real-Time Performance for Distributed Systems

RTC Magazine
By Daron Underwood, Intervalzero
Leveraging the compatibility of Ethernet with additional Real-time protocol, EtherCAT has become an attractive and widely used replacement for proprietary field buses. With today’s multicore processors, it is also now possible to implement it almost completely in software.

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Is IoT (IP to the edge) good for automation?
January 19, 2015

Is IoT (IP to the edge) good for automation?

By Bill Lydon, Editor
The Internet of Things (IoT) definition as promoted by major industrial automation suppliers and computer industry suppliers is “IP to the edge.” IP to the edge means using Internet Protocol over wired or wireless Ethernet to communicate with end devices. This concept may not be common sense engineering and sound design for industrial automation systems.

Optimizing Multi-Site Operations, Large and Small
November 25, 2014

Optimizing Multi-Site Operations, Large and Small

Automation World
By Grant Gerke
By using PC-based control tools and EtherCAT industrial networks, companies can plug into their existing legacy control systems and then push that data out to the cloud via OPC UA.

Overcoming pitfalls implementing a safe fieldbus
October 21, 2014

Overcoming pitfalls implementing a safe fieldbus

Industrial Ethernet Book
By Guido Beckmann i
Implementing the Safety over EtherCAT protocol for applications up to a Safety Integrated Level 3 requires careful planning. You’ll want a plan that addresses both your specific system requirements and also the possibility of coupling machine modules from different manufacturers.

Safety over EtherCAT
July 30, 2014

Safety over EtherCAT

By Guido Beckmann
The Safety over EtherCAT (FSoE) protocol enables safety-relevant data transmission, in parallel to standard data on the same network. FSoE is a technology certified by TÜV, developed according to IEC 61508, and internationally standardized in adherence to IEC 61784-3. The protocol can be used in applications requiring a Safety Integrity level as high as SIL3.

Diagnostics with EtherCAT - Part 2
July 25, 2014

Diagnostics with EtherCAT - Part 2

By EtherCAT Technology Group
In Part 1, the Working Counter was described as a mechanism for EtherCAT master devices to cyclic-synchronously monitor slave behavior. Part 2 covers further diagnostic mechanisms that allow master devices to precisely detect the location and cause of error conditions both at the hardware and at the application level of a slave.

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Diagnostics with EtherCAT - Part 1
July 23, 2014

Diagnostics with EtherCAT - Part 1

By EtherCAT Technology Group
EtherCAT provides a powerful diagnostic mechanism that can be used by master applications to monitor the network status synchronously with the communication cycle. Master applications such as PLC programs can therefore react immediately to any error condition within the network with a simple evaluation of the Working Counter in the application software.

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EtherCAT: Ethernet for automation, best practices
July 18, 2014

EtherCAT: Ethernet for automation, best practices

Control Engineering
By Joey Stubbs, EtherCAT Technology Group
The EtherCAT fieldbus doesn't require active infrastructure components (such as switches, hubs, and routers), which lowers the cost of EtherCAT compared to traditional fieldbuses.

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Simplify industrial networks and machine safety
May 18, 2014

Simplify industrial networks and machine safety

Control Engineering
By Tina Hull, Omron
Machine safety networking, simplified: Combine safety and standard networking into one solution using EtherCAT.

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Industrial safety networks, security
May 18, 2014

Industrial safety networks, security

Control Engineering
By Mark Hoske
Today, there are DeviceNet Safety (CIP Safety), Profisafe, AS-Interface Safety at Work (ASi-SaW), EtherCat FSoE, and Powerlink openSafety, just to name a few machine safety networks. How do you choose a network? Many features and benefits make selection a daunting task without significant familiarity with machine safety, let alone safety networks.

Smart I/O and Ethernet connect to and expand fieldbus capabilities
May 18, 2014

Smart I/O and Ethernet connect to and expand fieldbus capabilities

Control Engineering
By Kurt Wadowick, Beckhoff
As fieldbus networks evolved, so has the capacity to transmit more data more quickly, which enables very large systems to be more tightly controlled. The EtherCAT industrial Ethernet system has low microsecond-level communications ability and the broadest device selection from numerous major vendors.

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February 26, 2014

Drives Integrate, Gain Intelligence

Control Design
By Jim Montague
Especially on long or big machines with multiple cabinets and cables, it can save time and hardware and improve reliability to have an integrated motor and drive that run motion buses such as EtherCAT via power wiring.

February 26, 2014

Think Global I/O, Connect (Sometimes) Local

Control Design
By Hank Hogan
Both users and suppliers will tell you that machines with more I/O points that are further away tend to come out ahead by employing a distributed, remote connection strategy, such as EtherCAT.

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They Can Talk to Anyone
February 26, 2014

They Can Talk to Anyone

Automation World
By Terry Costlow
Ethernet cables, such as EtherCAT, are being used by manufacturers in every industry and geography for automation, video, business systems, mobility, collaboration and security. But differences in protocols are forcing network manager to deal with multiple protocols.

Industrial PCs ease integration
February 26, 2014

Industrial PCs ease integration

Control Engineering
By Matt Lecheler, Beckhoff
Hardware and software advancements, such as multi-core processors and industrial Ethernet fieldbus technology like EtherCAT, are enabling engineers to integrate cost-effective robotic solutions with motion control, communications, and human-machine interfaces.