POSITAL’s high-performance IXARC optical rotary encoders are now available with EtherCAT communications interfaces. EtherCAT (Ethernet for Control Automation Technology) is a special
form of industrial Ethernet that eliminates the unpredictable transmission delays that characterize ‘standard’ Ethernet networks. EtherCAT networks ensure very rapid communications between a controller and other devices within a control system so that EtherCAT can be used for systems where real-time control is essential. EtherCAT systems also offer performance and scaling advantages over older fieldbus systems and can make use of inexpensive commercial Ethernet hardware. Both bus and star wiring topologies can be used for maximum flexibility in cable layout.
IXARC absolute optical rotary encoders with EtherCAT offer outstanding measurement performance, including resolution of up to 65,536 steps per turn (16 bits). Multi-turn models with measuring ranges as large as 16,384 revolutions are available. The EtherCAT interface, which was implemented using fast field programmable gate array (FPGA) circuits, provides cycle times of less than 125 microseconds. The distributed clock function allows users to synchronize axes within a microsecond. These encoders support cable redundancy for improved system reliability. Firmware can be updated through standard tools such as TwinCAT, while security needs are addressed with password protection. IXARC optical encoders are available with shaft and connector seals rated at up to IP67 level and with explosion-proof (ATEX certified) stainless steel housings.
Other industrial Ethernet systems supported by POSITAL-FRABA include EtherNet/IP, Profinet IO and MODBUS+ Ethernet TCP.