I remember my introduction to industrial “fieldbus” technology that came even before I became an editor with Control Engineering. That was in the 90s. Another indication of the maturity of the automation and control market lies in this announcement from the EtherCat Technology Group.

I love press releases. The writers are not bashful about proclaiming their virtues. I’m sure there are a couple of others who would contest some of the proclamations. But, this network did bring Ethernet early on and works well with motion control more so than some others.

Beckhoff Automation, a pioneer in automation solutions, proudly commemorates the 20th anniversary of EtherCAT, the groundbreaking industrial Ethernet ystem that transformed the world of industrial networking. Since its introduction at Hannover Messe in 2003, EtherCAT has emerged as the leader in speed, flexibility and openness, solidifying its position in the global market through its reliability and continuous technical advancements. Today, EtherCAT remains an open IEC standard and empowers companies across industries to leverage its key technological advantages.

EtherCAT combines the standard Ethernet protocol with the reliability, performance and stability required for industrial communication, delivering significant advantages:

  • Fast communication and nanosecond synchronization via distributed clocks
  • Reduce CPU loads by up to 30%
  • Flexible topology: tree, star, drop, line, circle, etc. – or any combination of these is possible
  • Automatic addressing of nodes 
  • Comprehensive and highly localized diagnostics
  • Noise immunity and high bandwidth
  • Integrated safety
  • No switches are necessary, masters only need an Ethernet port, and sub-devices can use a variety of ESC chips – all of which keep expenses near or less than legacy fieldbus costs.
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