EtherCAT FAQ

EtherCAT FAQ

Alicat devices are compatible with a variety of analog, serial, or industrial communication protocols for easy data collection and analysis. Options include analog (4-20 mA, 0-10 Vdc, 0-5 Vdc, or 1-5 Vdc), ASCII and Modbus RTU over RS-232, ASCII and Modbus RTU over RS-485, Profibus, DeviceNet, EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP/IP, and EtherCAT.

In this article, we provide answers to common questions about EtherCAT.

Where can I find supporting download files?

Find supporting downloads such as ESI files here.

What is EtherCAT?

Introduced in 2003 by Beckhoff Automation, EtherCAT is a high performance industrial Ethernet technology with a flexible topology. EtherCAT’s key functional principle lies in how its nodes process Ethernet frames. Each node reads data addressed to it and writes its data back to the frame, all while the frame is moving downstream. This leads to improved bandwidth utilization and eliminates the need for switches and hubs.

Which products can have EtherCAT installed?

EtherCAT is available on most of Alicat mass flow and pressure devices:

Exceptions (incompatible with EtherCAT):

  • CODA Coriolis controllers and meters (KCKMKCO, and KMO-Series) – Will be available soon
  • OEM devices (BCEPC, and EPCD-Series)
  • Portable instruments (MB and LB-Series)
  • Class 1 Division 2 area instruments (-X part numbers)
How does EtherCAT change instrument specifications?
  • Alicat part number: -ECAT
  • Electrical connections: Comms over dual RJ45
  • Additional power requirement: 120 mA
  • Software compatibility: LabVIEW
  • Max number of devices on network: 65,535
Do I still have a choice of gases and gas mixes on EtherCAT instruments?

Yes. Gas instruments with EtherCAT have the full Gas Select™ list of gas calibrations and Composer™ gas mixing firmware.

How fast are communications with an EtherCAT instrument?

Devices support data transmission rates up to 100 mbps.

What are the ERR and RUN LEDs and how do I interpret them?

The ERR and RUN LEDs come in handy when debugging/troubleshooting your EtherCAT network.

EtherCAT Communications

EtherCAT Communications LED panel

 

Can I update my existing instruments to have EtherCAT?

No. EtherCAT can only be ordered on new instruments due to the hardware and firmware requirements during installation.

Contact an applications engineer for support