System Integration & Control Systems Design


EtherCAT I/O for conveyor control

September 2020 System Integration & Control Systems Design

With the new EP7402 EtherCAT Box from Beckhoff, the control architecture and cabling of roller conveyor systems becomes significantly more efficient. With the high IP67 protection rating, this compact motor controller for BLDC motors is ideally suited for conveyor tasks in intralogistics and assembly technology as well as in the packaging, food and beverage industries.

The EP7402 offers two outputs with integrated motion controller for the direct connection of 24 VDC conveyor roller motors or other BLDC motors (up to 3,5 A). Eight additional digital inputs/outputs enable connection of e.g. photoelectric switches and communication between the different box modules in operation without a PLC. The EP7402 takes over the complete control of a roller motor independently of the conveyor or motor manufacturer. The control of the motors is sensorless and maximum rated current, acceleration or deceleration ramps and various other parameters can be configured, allowing optimal adaptation to different applications.

In conveyor operation the EP7402 can also be operated without a PLC and provides functions such as Zero Pressure Accumulation (ZPA), single or block discharge. Further EtherCAT devices such as digital and analog I/Os, barcode readers or safety devices can be connected to the additional EtherCAT junction. The EtherCAT Box with IP67 protection rating measures only 174 mm x 60 mm x 36,5 mm and can be easily mounted in standard C-channel or L-brackets on the conveyor frame. It requires no additional protective covering, which saves additional installation space. Power supply and EtherCAT communication take place via a single cable with a B23 ENP hybrid connector (28 A/45°C current carrying capacity).


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