EtherCAT connectivity for distributed inverters

A technology box for integrating motor-mounted SK 200E inverters into EtherCAT networks and the Beckhoff control technology environment is now available from NORD Drivesystems. The Ethernet-based fieldbus is said to offer benefits particularly for distributed networks such as conveyor systems. EtherCAT provides a high data throughput rate but eliminates the need for short lines associated with standard bus systems. Harnessing this high data throughput, the new EtherCAT box from NORD cost-efficiently connects a large number of inverters to a single bus line, since there is no need for repeaters or additional bus master interfaces.

The bus module can be mounted either directly on the SK 200E’s interface unit or separately from the inverter by means of an optional wall mounting kit. The EtherCAT bus line is connected to the box via an M12 plug connector. Additionally, the box features eight integrated 24V inputs and two 24V outputs. A single technology box can address up to four inverters via EtherCAT. An integrated RS232/RS485 interface allows for on-the-spot access to the parameters of the bus module and connected inverters by means of the SK PAR manual control unit or via NORDCON PC software. The EtherCAT technology box has a standard protection rating of IP55, and can be supplied for IP66 on request. All SK 200E inverter models provide sensorless current vector control, a brake chopper, and a control module for an electromagnetic brake. Even the basic model allows for speed control (incremental encoder input HTL signal) and positioning control by means of the integrated POSICON function. The extended range of features includes the integrated safety function ‘Safe Stop’ and an on-board interface for the AS-Interface bus system.

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