EtherCAT is a real-time Industrial Ethernet technology originally developed by Beckhoff Automation. Historically, EtherCAT used 4-pole shielded M8x1 connectors and a standard Ethernet cable, with the power supply provided by a separate cable. The latest development “EtherCAT-P” by Beckhoff and the associated ETG (EtherCAT Technology Group) enables a combination of super fast EtherCAT communication and 24 V power supply for system and sensor supply with 24 V | 3 A in a single two-wire data pair and Conec have the connectors and patch cables to match.
The EtherCAT protocol (IEC standard IEC61158) is used in automation technology, in test and measurement and many other applications. EtherCAT was developed to enable short cycle times (≤ 100 µs), low jitter for accurate synchronization (≤ 1 µs) and low hardware costs = Real-time Ethernet.
The EtherCAT master sends a telegram that passes through each node. Each EtherCAT slave device reads the data addressed to it “on the fly”, and inserts its data in the frame as the frame is moving downstream. The frame is delayed only by hardware propagation delay times. The last node in a segment (or branch) detects an open port and sends the message back to the master using Ethernet technology’s full duplex feature. The telegram’s maximum effective data rate increases to over 90 %, and due to the utilization of the full duplex feature, the theoretical effective data rate is even higher than 100 Mbit/s (> 90 % of two times 100 Mbit/s).
Line, tree, star, or daisy-chain: EtherCAT supports line, tree, star, or daisy-chain topologies. EtherCAT makes a pure bus or line topology with hundreds of nodes possible without the limitations that normally arise from cascading switches or hubs.
Historically, EtherCAT used 4-pole shielded M8x1 connectors and a standard Ethernet cable, with the power supply provided by a separate cable. The latest development “EtherCAT-P” by Beckhoff and the associated ETG (EtherCAT Technology Group) now introduces a combination of superfast EtherCAT communication and 24 V power supply (Us) for system and sensor supply with 24 V | 3 A provided on a two-wire data pair. The second data pair provides data and the peripheral voltage (Up) for the supply of the actuators. This direct coupling of the supply voltage to the 100 MBit line for EtherCAT-P enables a compact and cost-effective device interface.
To make it impossible to connect with other standardized M8x1 connector systems, a new coding has been developed for this application and standardized in IEC 60176-2-114 under the term “P – Coding”. Special features of this coding are the RED colouring of the contact carriers and the leading T-contour on the front face of the coupling contact carrier, which prevents connecting with other coding. Just like other Conec Metric circular connectors EtherCAT M8s are IP67 rated when mated.
Connectors overmoulded to cable:
Shielded axial overmoulded designs with cable quality G6, TPU 4xAWG22, are available in standard lengths of 2, 3, 5 and 10 metres. For the 100 MBit device connection, the patch cords are used are almost exclusively male-male.
Connectors field attachable:
Field attachable connectors are available as female and male variants in axial design, either with screw (Female and Male connector) or crimp (male connector) termination.
Flanged sockets for direct PCB mounting:
An extensive product range for device connection is available. The shielding from the flange housing is continued to the PCB. Moulded contact tongues form the radial connection to the flange housing, the connection to the printed circuit board is made by means of latching elements with subsequent soldering. The materials used are suitable for wave soldering. A special flange version is the version with moulded cable and a further plug on side B, preferably P-coded. Ideally, this can be used for wiring through a wall, e. g. a switch cabinet.
- Very small connector system with small installation space for fieldbus transmission technology
- Power and data on one data pair
- Variable installation and connection options on the device side
- Good chemical resistance of the connector
- Protection class IP67 (in mated condition)
- Automation technology
- Drive technology
- Machine manufacturing
- Housing and device construction
- Industrial interfaces
- Control technology