EtherCAT interface for RTD temperature sensors

I/O terminal from Beckhoff provides direct connection to sensor. Newest in growing line.

By Peter Welander January 18, 2010

Also read: Beckhoff Automation says to use PC-based control, not PLCs; here’s why .

The new EL3201-0020 EtherCAT I/O terminal from Beckhoff Automation provides a precision interface for RTD (resistance temperature device) sensors. The company says this is the next in its growing selection of high-precision analog interfaces under the Scientific Automation umbrella.

With its high basic accuracy, the measuring error is reduced to Beckhoff contends this measurement technology is the basis for the integration of high-precision measurement technology without requiring special components. This leads to more cost-effective and streamlined industrial systems.
The EL3201-0020 EtherCAT Terminal enables direct connection of a resistance sensor (PT100) using 4-wire technology. The sensors’ characteristic curves are implemented over their complete measuring range and are made available to the higher-level control system in a suitably linear form.

Beckhoff says it has designed the larger product family of terminals to offer simple, inexpensive solutions for integrating high-precision measurement technology without the need for complex "black box" systems. The ability to reproduce results reliably is becoming increasingly important in a wide range of automation applications in order to optimize parameters and ensure verifiability, such as for online quality monitoring in running processes. The devices include a calibration certificate that authenticates the measuring accuracy of the terminal and the exact measuring error. Online download of the certificate based on the serial number and terminal handling similar to common analog terminals make the application of high-precision measurement technology very convenient.

Beckhoff calls this new approach " Scientific Automation ." It integrates engineering functions beyond traditional PLC and motion technologies into automation software, and uses EtherCAT to transmit measurement data.

-Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor,
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