May 2006
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New Beckhoff EL6601 Switch Terminal Channels Ethernet Through EtherCAT
Switch terminal efficiently integrates any Ethernet device into real-time EtherCAT I/O system

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MINNEAPOLIS, May 23, 2006 – The new EL6601 Ethernet switch terminal from Beckhoff Automation seamlessly links Ethernet devices with the next generation EtherCAT fieldbus. With this 1-port Ethernet switch terminal, Beckhoff introduces a solution that enables connection of essentially any peripheral with Ethernet connectivity into EtherCAT networks.

The EL6601 Ethernet switch terminal ensures fully transparent and collision-free Ethernet communication of connected devices through the EtherCAT system. The switch terminal is simply integrated because it can be installed at any point within an EtherCAT node. A wide range of Ethernet-linked devices such as printers or terminals for production data acquisition can be connected within the EtherCAT node via the EL6601 Ethernet switch terminal.

When using the EL6601, standard Ethernet frames are tunneled through the EtherCAT protocol. The connected master acts like a layer 2 switch, redirecting the Ethernet frames to the respective devices according to IP address information. This means all Internet technologies can be successfully used in an EtherCAT environment including integrated Web servers, e-mail, FTP transfer etc.

The real-time EtherCAT protocol delivers previously unreachable fieldbus performance – processing 1,000 distributed I/O in 30 µs or 100 axes in 100 µs using twisted pair or fiber optic cable. An approved IEC specification, EtherCAT technology is open by design. No expensive, proprietary fieldbus cards are required, making EtherCAT as cost effective as it is high tech. The EtherCAT system takes full advantage of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) Ethernet components and uses standard CAT 5e cables.

Beckhoff Automation provides advanced, open automation products based upon proven technologies so that customers can implement high performance control systems faster and at a lower overall cost than traditional PLC and motion control systems. Beckhoff’s “New Automation Technology” product range includes PC based control, industrial PCs, automation controllers, operator interface, I/O, servo drives and motors. With representation in more than 60 countries, Beckhoff is well positioned to provide global sales and service to its customers. Sales and service are handled directly, with no intermediaries involved to provide faster response and improved communications.


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