EtherCAT box for incremental encoder connection

Beckhoff Automation's I/O module synchronously reads encoder values via high-precision EtherCAT Distributed Clocks.


Beckhoff Automation's I/O module synchronously reads encoder values via high-precision EtherCAT Distributed Clocks. Courtesy: Beckhoff AutomationBeckhoff Automation's EP5101 EtherCAT Box is an IP 67-rated I/O module designed to directly connect to incremental encoders with differential inputs (RS485).

Due to the optional interpolating micro-increments functionality, the moisture and dust-resistant EP5101 can supply even more precise axis positions for dynamic axes. The EP5101 supports the synchronous reading of the encoder value together with other input data in the EtherCAT system via high-precision EtherCAT Distributed Clocks (DC).

The compact EP5101 EtherCAT Box is suitable for applications where electrical cabinet space is limited. In addition to stepper motor and DC motor box modules, which are also equipped with an encoder interface, stand-alone encoders for the measurement of rotation and length can also be directly connected in the field using the EP5101 incremental encoder interface. The EP5101 supports any feedback system with an RS485 interface. The encoder is connected either via an M12 socket (EP5101-0002) or via a D-sub interface (EP5101-0011).

A 32-/16-bit counter with quadrature decoder as well as a 32-/16-bit latch for the zero pulse can be read, set or activated. Incremental encoders with a fault signal output can be connected to the status input of the EP5101. A period measurement with a resolution of up to 100 ns is possible. The gate input allows the counter to be disabled; the latch input accepts the counter reading on the rising edge.

Beckhoff Automation 

- Edited by Chris Vavra, Control Engineering, 

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