EtherCAT is an Ethernet-based fieldbus developed by Beckhoff. This protocol is suitable for both hard and soft real-time requirements in automation technology. In addition to a ring structure, which becomes logically necessary because of the summation frame telegram used, the EtherCAT technology also physically supports topologies such as line, tree, star (limited) and combinations of these topologies. B&R's X20BC80G3 (expandable bus controller module) and X20HB88G0 (standalone junction base module) are available for implementing these topologies.
EtherCAT slave devices take the data designated for them from a telegram as it is passing through the device. Input data is also added to the telegram as it is passing through. The bus controller allows X2X Link I/O modules to be coupled to EtherCAT and operated on any EtherCAT master system. A transition between IP20 and IP67 protection outside of the control cabinet is possible by arranging X20, X67 or XV modules one after the other as needed at distances up to 100 m.
Master systems without FoE (File access over EtherCAT) support require an appropriate configuration tool to transfer the configuration (optional).
With multifunction modules, the bus controller supports only the default function model in the event of automatic configuration by the bus controller (see the respective module description).
All other function models are supported when configured accordingly in Automation Studio V4.3 or later.