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Automation & Control
Maxon Releases New Digital EtherCAT Controller
3/1/2013

The new EPOS3 70/10 EtherCAT digital controller allows for real-time positioning and high-speed synchronization of multi-axis systems, including robotics, automation, and mechantronics.   (Source: maxon)
The new EPOS3 70/10 EtherCAT digital controller allows for real-time positioning and high-speed synchronization of multi-axis systems, including robotics, automation, and mechantronics.
(Source: maxon)

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apresher
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EtherCat Controller
apresher   3/1/2013 11:05:45 AM
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Elizabeth, Thanks for the update.  EtherCat solutions continue to generate a broad base of supplier companies using the technology. Excellent technology.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: EtherCat Controller
Cabe Atwell   3/1/2013 6:57:25 PM
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I hope Maxon creates some app notes for this controller. It think it might be a hit in the DIY CNC community. I have noticed a drift from serial to communication like this over the past few years. It's about time too.

C

Elizabeth M
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Re: EtherCat Controller
Elizabeth M   3/5/2013 5:31:03 AM
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I'm not sure if they have, Cabe, but you're right, it sounds like a good idea. I think most of this type of communication is heading in this direction, and it's good now that the products to support this trend are becoming more available.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: EtherCat Controller
Cabe Atwell   3/5/2013 2:46:22 PM
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How long until wireless communication is tackled completely in an industrial environment.

I recently did a product demonstration for a company. I had to string long cables out to my sensors. It seemed so old-school to me. (My demo went great, btw.)

C

Elizabeth M
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Re: EtherCat Controller
Elizabeth M   3/6/2013 5:04:32 AM
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Wires are the bane of our existence when it comes to devices, aren't they? Think of how long it's taken us to get unwired outside of an industrial environment with our consumer devices! We all still grapple with cables, mainly due to battery limitations. At least wireless Internet in the "real world" is becoming the norm. But it's a good question, Cabe, and I guess time will answer it.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: EtherCat Controller
Cabe Atwell   3/6/2013 3:11:28 PM
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A mesh network, like Zigbee, has a better time handling the electrically noisy industrial environment. Even with dozens of modules, I would be safe to say a CNC motor's connection between itself and the driver/PC can not be guaranteed. If they can place the driver at the motor, these days, I imagine wireless connectivity is not far away.

I have already seen such connectivity. http://youtu.be/Z7ZE5-5udB0

But I want to see it backed by the big companies is all.

C

Elizabeth M
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Re: EtherCat Controller
Elizabeth M   3/7/2013 5:09:05 AM
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I never thought about it that way but that is a much better idea. And I guess you're right, it won't really fly unless it's backed by the big companies, who seem pretty keen on EtherCAT and Ethernet connections at the moment. Seems like a no brainer to do it wirelessly, though. I'll check out the video. Thanks, Cabe.

Elizabeth M
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Re: EtherCat Controller
Elizabeth M   3/4/2013 5:44:06 AM
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My pleasure, apresher. It does indeed seem that the future of industrial networking lies in EtherCat, so it's definitely an interesting space to track and watch.

Jim_E
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Re: EtherCat Controller
Jim_E   3/4/2013 11:55:30 AM
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I am glad to see the continued adoption of EtherCat as an industrial control network protocol.   I get ill when I think of the implementation of EthernetIP (who came up with that convoluted name!) and the garbage that I see when I WireShark it....  :)

I've only used EtherCat with Beckhoff equipment, but after reading about the details of EtherCat, I really believe it's the best Ethernet protocol for proper equipment control.

taimoortariq
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EtherCAT Controller
taimoortariq   5/15/2013 12:56:49 PM
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Quite an informative article. I think that etherCat will play its fair share in industries in the years to come, mainly because it will take quite some time for industries to shift to wireless communication. 

Most of the industries do take decent amount of time to adopt change. Many industries which I have visited are still holding on to Rs232 serial communication. So, I think that the use of etherCAT will be quite effective for the years to come and this controller will have its stay in the market. It would have been cherry on top, if they had increased the no. of outputs though. Nonetheless, Still a great investment.

Elizabeth M
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Re: EtherCAT Controller
Elizabeth M   5/16/2013 5:30:05 AM
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Thanks for your comments, tai. I agree with you, it will take awhile before wireless is universally adopted, and an EtherCAT controller like this one can go a long way.

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