PLCs, DCSs & Controllers

Beckhoff expands I/O solution

January 2015 PLCs, DCSs & Controllers

In large-scale machine production, expenditure for replicating designed controller configurations is a significant cost factor. While traditional control cabinet wiring offers maximum flexibility and extendibility, this is not required when manufacturing hundreds of essentially identical machines. On the contrary, the manual wiring of mass-produced machines is a common source of errors and causes high labour costs.

The new EtherCAT plug-in modules introduce an efficient wiring solution into the series production of machines. In combination with industrially manufactured cable harnesses, the signal distribution board – a circuit board specially designed by the user or by Beckhoff – distributes signals and power supply between the EtherCAT plug-in modules and the machine. The unit costs are lowered through the automated production of circuit boards and cable harnesses. The risk of incorrect wiring is reduced to a minimum, since the EtherCAT plug-in modules and the plug connectors of the cable harnesses offer coding options.

The entire range of functions from the Beckhoff I/O portfolio, including functional safety solutions, can be implemented in an extremely compact form factor with the EJ series. Thanks to board level plug-and-play, a nearly limitless combination of options can be selected and plugged in as needed. In addition, the EtherCAT plug-in module system is simple to maintain because it leverages standard, globally-accepted industrial Ethernet technologies.

For more information contact Kenneth McPherson, Beckhoff Automation, +27 (0)11 795 2898,,


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