EtherCAT is a real-time Ethernet for both hard and soft real-time requirements in automation technology. The protocol is published in the IEC standard IEC61158 and IEC61784 as well as ISO 15745-4; the main development focus has been on low jitter for precise synchronisation and short cycle times.
EtherCAT device classes
EtherCAT uses the master-slave model for data exchange. The master sends output data to the slave. The slave provides input data to the master. An EtherCAT network generally consists of one master and several slaves.
EtherCAT is particularly suitable for fast applications. Typical applications are packaging machines, injection moulding machines and CNC machining centres.
The following product groups have an EtherCAT interface: