Previously, field bus protocols such as Modbus or Ethernet have been implemented to address this demand. Although successful in moving data across automation networks, these protocols lacked the real time performance necessary for a distributed motion control system.
The EtherCAT communication protocol provides a high speed, low overhead communication scheme that allows efficient, deterministic communication between motion controller and remote components. Based on Ethernet and streamlined specifically for point to point transmission of real time data, the EtherCAT standard is quickly becoming the preferred choice for centralized control of tightly coupled motion between remote components.
This presentation is aimed at designers of automation and motion control systems with a basic understanding of Ethernet communication.