Forty Manufacturers’ EtherCAT Products Debut at 2005 SPS/IPC/Drives Show


Nuremberg, Germany — Over 75 different EtherCAT products in the EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG) booth were shown by 40 vendors at the SPS/IPC/Drives show in November.

EtherCAT master devices were highlighted by 15 different manufacturers at the show. PC-based controls were displayed as well as embedded controllers and small controllers for DIN Rail mounting. Additionally, hardware, software and implementation services for EtherCAT master and slave devices were presented by 15 vendors.

EtherCAT also showed depth in the motion sector: the variety ranged from small, low-power servo drives to an 18-KW frequency converter, which represents devices up to 4.5 MW. Twelve manufacturers showcased drives, most of them working in a multi-vendor display.

On the sensor side, the EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG) sees EtherCAT fast becoming a standard offering. Rotary encoders and position sensors with this interface were shown by six manufacturers. The product range is completed by I/O devices, safety devices, valve manifolds, digital servo valves, gateways, infrastructure components, communication modules and communication chips from a diverse group of suppliers.

ETG said that the large selection of products in its trade-show booth underscored the versatility of the technology, uniting the I/O-, motion-control- and safety-bus into one system. Optional simple cable-redundancy—which does not require special hardware, as well as hot-connect and hot-swap features—reportedly favor applications with high availability requirements. Cross communication between slaves and between several masters, facilitates networking several control systems together.

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Richard Phelps , senior editor, Control Engineering

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