SAVAGE, Minnesota, May 1, 2014 – The new EK9300 PROFINET IO Bus Coupler from Beckhoff connects different control networks in a simple and efficient manner. This flexible device enables a PROFINET controller to exchange data with one or more EtherCAT, PROFINET, PROFIBUS and, in the future, EtherNet/IP systems. This means that the EK9300 can be used as a flexible gateway for real-time communication between these networks, with all the advantages provided by the EtherCAT network as an extremely high performance, lower-level I/O system via the directly-connected EtherCAT Terminals.
The EK9300 Bus Coupler converts the messages from PROFINET IO to the EtherCAT “E-Bus” signal type. One I/O station consists of an EK9300 Bus Coupler and any number of EtherCAT Terminals. The coupler supports the PROFINET RT protocol and, therefore, fits seamlessly into PROFINET IO networks.
Via new firmware and corresponding EtherCAT Terminals, the EK9300 Bus Coupler can be used as a flexible gateway between different network and controller types:
• from PROFINET to EtherCAT (with EL6692-0000)
• from PROFINET to PROFINET (with EL6631-0010)
• from PROFINET to PROFIBUS (with EL6731-0010)
• from PROFINET to EtherNet/IP (with EL6652-0010 – in development)
In this way, various production systems can be networked by real-time communication without great effort or expense. For example, product-relevant management information can be collected in distributed units with different control systems or data can be exchanged in real-time between two PROFINET networks that are deliberately placed in different IP spaces.
The EK9300 PROFINET IO coupler offers underlying connectivity to the high-performance and ultra-fast EtherCAT I/O system. Additional advantages are available for widely distributed applications, because the EtherCAT network topology offers very high flexibility and the ability to bridge long transmission distances of up to 100 m. Another key benefit is that the EK9300 Bus Coupler – in addition to its actual gateway function – supports the extremely wide range of EtherCAT Terminals including numerous IP 67 box modules for installation in harsh environments. This enables optimized mapping of the physical process while allowing the connection of a PROFINET controller via several EtherCAT slave terminals to the corresponding number of identical or different control networks.