Beckhoff Automation’s EK1101-0080 EtherCAT coupler and EK1122-0080 EtherCAT junction with Fast Hot Connect provide a fast solution for coupling and decoupling of EtherCAT devices during operation, effectively reducing connection time to one second to optimize productivity.
An EtherCAT characteristic, Hot Connect is used to alter topologies through direct coupling or decoupling during operation. For instance, the Fast Connect technology is used in robots for fast tool changes to significantly shorten the cycle time as well as increase the output.
Hot Connect also allows system components to be easily coupled and decoupled from the control system through EtherCAT by plug-and-play, while Fast Connect technology reduces integration time to less than one second. This implies an extremely fast tool change in the case of metalworking machines.
The time needed for the tool change is added to the cycle time at a ratio of 1:1. Thus, a reduction in the time spent in tool change leads to a shortening of the cycle time and an increase in output. On the master side, the TwinCAT automation suite supports Fast Hot Connect.
A modular I/O system, the EtherCAT terminal system consists of electronic terminal blocks. With the EtherCAT protocol fully retained right down to each terminal, the technological features of the EtherCAT are supported to the optimum.