New EtherCAT Modules Complementing Industrial Automation

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New 6-CH EU series, and ECAT-4XMO and ECAT-TRG4 modules integrate hardware and software to modernise IIoT-based smart factories

ADLINK Technology has introduced two new modules in the 6-CH EU Series digital I/O: the ECAT-4XMO motion control and trigger module, and the ECAT-TRG4 trigger modules. The new modules are a dynamic extension to ADLINK’s EtherCAT System and are designed to perfectly complement the EU Series, enabling higher performance in automatic assembly, test and inspection equipment across a multitude of applications including cell phone glass inspection, battery cell assembly, camera lens assembly and test and glue dispensing machinery, as well as inspection equipment.

The ECAT-4XMO motion control and trigger module is a 4-channel control and high-speed trigger module that connects to both EtherCAT and non-EtherCAT motors, including stepper motors, linear motors, direct-drive and AC. Advanced functions of the ECAT-4XMO include high precision motion interpolation, continuous contouring, axes synchronisation, point table for circuit limit and 2D compensation. The superior performance of the ECAT-TRG4 includes a high-speed position comparison trigger (4 channels, 10 MHz linear/table), pulse outputs (12 MHZ), encode inputs (20 MHz) and support for encoder re-driver operation. The flexible expansion interface of the ECAT-TRG4 allows easy connection to cameras and air guns.

“Industrial automation equipment, depending on different usage conditions, needs to control pulse-type motors and communication-type motors at the same time, as well as trigger control based on different signals,” said Simon You, Director, Smart Machine Business Product Center, ADLINK. “Generally, it takes separate systems to control different types of motors, which consumes larger floor space and increases maintenance efforts and costs. With ADLINK’s highly integrated and compatible EtherCAT solutions, users are allowed to control pulse motors and communication motors via a single system at the same time, fulfilling the demands of many trigger control applications.”

In addition, ADLINK offers an all-in-one automation software (APS SDK), which serves as a uniform interface to access all ADLINK machine automation products. With APS SDK, users can operate ADLINK motion products simply and consistently, minimising the reprogramming hassles of adding or removing devices. APS Function Library also allows existing motion control users to easily upgrade to EtherCAT-based solutions without complicated program modifications or application redevelopment.

The new modules feature sliding side-by-side installation and screwless design, to reduce installation costs, and support nearly all field applications in a smart factory. In test applications, the EtherCAT system delivered total cost of ownership (TCO) savings of up to 10% and up to 30% increases in productivity.


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