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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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