HMS Industrial Networks has extended its gateway family and announces the Anybus Communicator for EtherCAT. The Communicator is an intelligent protocol converter that connects automation devices via their serial interface (RS-232/422/485) to EtherCAT. It allows devices without a built-in EtherCAT interface to be connected to an EtherCAT network. Typical applications include barcode readers, RFID scanners, weigh scales, frequency inverters and motor starters.
The Anybus Communicator is a compact device for standard DIN rail mounting. On the EtherCAT network, the Communicator operates as an EtherCAT slave. The implementation is based on Beckhoff´s EtherCAT technology and contains all protocol functions including the CANopen based application layer for process data (PDO) and parameter data (SDO) communication functions. The network connection is made via two RJ45 connectors and supports 100 Mbit Ethernet transmission.
The serial interface between the Communicator and the field device supports RS-232, RS-485 and RS-422 signal levels at baud rates up to 57 kbit/s. For devices with a RS-232 interface, one Anybus Communicator is needed to connect one field device to EtherCAT. Using a RS-485 interface, up to 31 automation devices can be connected via one Communicator to EtherCAT. The field devices will appear as one slave device on the EtherCAT network. In this case, the cost of an EtherCAT connection can drop to less than $20 per device. The serial interface of the Communicator supports the commonly-used Modbus protocol, but it can also be easily adapted to manufacturer-specific protocols using a Windows-based configuration program.
In addition to EtherCAT, the Anybus Communicator is available for Profinet, EtherNet/IP and Modbus-TCP as well as for most of the popular fieldbus systems like Profibus, DeviceNet, ControlNet, Interbus, CANopen, Modbus and CC-Link. All versions work the same way and provide a flexible standard solution for connecting field devices to all popular industrial networks. Using the Anybus Communicator, all these components can be easily integrated into industrial networks. There is no more need for hardware or software modification or extensive engineering work.
HMS develops and manufactures solutions for interfacing automation devices to industrial networks. Development and manufacturing takes place at the head office in Halmstad, Sweden. Local sales and support is provided by the HMS branch offices in Chicago, Beijing, Karlsruhe, Milan, Mulhouse and Tokyo. HMS employs 150 persons of which 40 in R&D and reported sales of $35 million in 2006. HMS is listed on OMX Nordic Exchange in Stockholm in the category Small Cap, Information technology (ISIN SE0002136242).
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Filed Under: Ethernet — cables • hubs • switches, Motion control • motor controls, Networks • connectivity • fieldbuses