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Giao thức EtherCAT và ứng dụng trong tự động hóa

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Giao thức EtherCAT và ứng dụng trong tự động hóa

EtherCAT*, Ethernet for Control Automation Technology, is an open, high-performance but low-cost Industrial Ethernet-based fieldbus system. It was introduced in 2003 and has been an international standard since 2007. The development goal of EtherCAT was to apply Ethernet to automation applications which require short data update times (also called cycle times) with low communication jitter (for synchronization purposes) and low hardware costs.

Features

Exceptional Performance 
EtherCAT is the fastest industrial ethernet technology, but it also synchronizes with nanosecond accuracy. The EtherCAT Master is the only node allowed to actively send an EtherCAT frame; all other slave nodes merely forward the data “on the fly” or fill data in the frame as the frame is moving. This concept guarantees real-time capabilities and the frame is delayed only by hardware propagation delay times. The rapid reaction times work to reduce the wait times during the transitions between process steps, so EtherCAT’s excellent performance leads to improved accuracy, greater throughput, and thus to lowered costs.

Economic Cost
EtherCAT delivers the features of Industrial Ethernet but the price is similar or even below that of a classic fieldbus system. The only hardware required by the master device is an Ethernet port, and no expensive interface cards or co-processors are necessary. EtherCAT itself doesn’t place any performance requirements on the slave devices, which keeps device costs down. Since EtherCAT doesn’t require switches or other active infrastructure components, the costs for these components and their installation, configuration, and maintenance are also eliminated.

Flexible topology
Line, tree, star, or daisy-chain: EtherCAT supports almost all of topologies, and the combination of lines with branches is particularly beneficial. The connected ports can not only create branches but also directly integrate in various I/O modules, so no additional switches or active infrastructure components are required. Up to 65,535 devices can be connected to EtherCAT, so network expansion is virtually unlimited. EtherCAT offers a lot of flexibility regarding cable types, so inexpensive industrial Ethernet cable can be used between two nodes up to 100m apart in 100BASE-TX mode.

Applications

  • Building Automation
  • Semiconductor Tools
  • Metal Forming Packaging
  • Injection Molding
  • Assembly Systems
  • Printing Machines
  • Robotics Stage Control
  • Systems Automated
  • Guided Vehicles Wind
  • Turbines

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