EtherCAT industrial Ethernet I/O terminal supports IEEE 1588 synchronization

Beckhoff Automation EL6688 EtherCAT Terminal achieves optimum automation synchronization of large production lines and factories using the IEEE 1588 standard.


Burnsville, MN – Beckhoff Automation has released EL6688 EtherCAT Terminal to achieve optimum automation synchronization of large production lines and factories. The I/O terminal permits precise cross-factory and cross-site synchronization according to the IEEE 1588 standard.

Using EL6688, different machines, system components, or production lines can be synchronized with each other or with an external grandmaster clock via GPS or DCF77 receivers. A high-precision, technology- and vendor-independent global timebase is available that can be used for time-stamping of measured data.

With distributed clocks, devices in an EtherCAT system can be synchronized with a tolerance of less than 100 ns. The terminal permits synchronization with different networks across sites. This applies to different production lines which need to be synchronized with microsecond precision. The system uses the control accuracy of distributed clocks and the standardized synchronization interface in the EL6688. Synchronization to an external event is always the same, regardless of whether the external application uses EtherCAT, IEEE 1588, or digital input.

EL6688 EtherCAT Terminal supports Ethernet-based IEEE 1588 protocols PTPv1 (IEEE 1588-2002) and PTPv2 (IEEE 1588-2008). The EL6688 is an IEEE 1588 clock (ordinary clock), which, from the perspective of the higher-level master (grandmaster), operates as a slave or supplies the connected EtherCAT Terminals (slaves) as a master via distributed clocks. It can be located at any point within an EtherCAT Terminal network.

Also read: about Beckhoff’s EtherCAT terminal and Turck’s Bl20 economy modules with DeviceNet gateways and the Wago 750-645 VIB-I/O channel to monitor and analyze vibration severity and shock pulse feedback.

Beckhoff Automation

– Control Engineering News Desk
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