Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Beckhoff Automation’s EtherCAT completes 20 years

May 23, 2023
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Beckhoff Automation is commemorating the 20th anniversary of EtherCAT, its industrial Ethernet system that made its mark in the world of industrial networking. Since its introduction at Hannover Messe in 2003, EtherCAT has solidified its position in the global market through continuous technical advancements.

Beckhoff explains that EtherCAT remains an open IEC standard and empowers companies across industries to leverage its key technological advantages.

EtherCAT supports emerging applications in mobile robotics, intralogistics, electric vehicle manufacturing, aerospace, scientific research and semiconductor manufacturing (as a SEMI standard).

“EtherCAT has played a pivotal role in driving forward the world’s leading automation applications through its high speed, determinism and flexible topology,” said Daymon Thompson, director of product management at Beckhoff USA. “From large scale applications such as giant telescopes with thousands of axes of motion to small IoT data collection devices and everything in between, EtherCAT has enabled remarkable technological achievements. With its proven track record, EtherCAT will continue to empower high-performance automation solutions for the next 20 years.”

EtherCAT was developed to utilize the high performance of standard Ethernet interfaces on PCs while reducing the complexity of standard TCP/IP Ethernet communications to maximize bandwidth utilization and performance. Even after 20 years, this paradigm remains as true as ever, says Beckhoff.

EtherCAT combines the standard Ethernet protocol with the reliability, performance and stability required for industrial communication.

“As an all-purpose industrial network, EtherCAT has become a foundational technology for all areas of modern industrial automation,” said Azad Jafari, I/O Product Manager at Beckhoff USA. “So far, this includes drive technology, mechatronics, machine safety, condition monitoring, advanced measurement technology and machine vision, among others. And as emerging concepts break through, they will continue to find the powerful and flexible communication technology they need in EtherCAT.”

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