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I/O Expertise for Series Production: Ethercat Plug-in Modules

October 13, 2020

The I/O system on a circuit board

The EtherCAT plug-in modules in the EJ series from Beckhoff, the specialist in PC and EtherCATbased automation solutions, offer significant efficiency gains when it comes to implementing medium to high-volume series production runs. The plug-in modules are based electronically on the established EtherCAT Terminals. Owing to their electromechanical design, these modules can be plugged directly into an application-specific signal distribution board with the wiring level being relocated to the PCB backplane.

With these circuit boards, the EJ system creates a prefabricated and pluggable EtherCAT I/O system. Plug connectors on the rear of the modules and the conductive tracks of the signal distribution board are used for communication, signal distribution, and the supply of power to the modules.

Compared with EtherCAT Terminals, EtherCAT plug-in modules are almost 50% smaller in relation to volume and help optimize the machine footprint. At the same time, the wiring effort is also reduced significantly, since all types of connector interfaces can be placed on the signal distribution board according to customer specification using prefabricated cables and coded plug connectors.

Compared with conventional wiring, the risk of wiring errors is reduced and work processes are simplified: The combination of I/O modules, signal distribution board, and prefabricated cables consistently adopts the plug & work approach.

Key Features-Benefits Bar.jpg

  •    –   EJ series plug-in modules in combination with customerspecific circuit boards
  •    –   the plug-in module is based on the EtherCAT Terminals
  •    –   reduces the footprint by 50%
  •    –   plugs in simply and locks securely in place with fixing holes
  •    –   reduces the wiring effort considerably
  •    –   minimizes wiring errors owing to mechanical coding
  •    –   machine-specific connector level with prefabricated cable harnesses
  •    –   absolute flexibility regarding the form factor of the signal distribution board
  •    –   simplifies and accelerates series production of machines
  •    –   quick implementation and commissioning
  •    –   reduced time-to-market

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