Company: Beckhoff Automation
Equipment Snapshot: To enhance control and cabling efficiency for motor-driven roller (MDR) conveyor systems, Beckhoff Automation has released the new EP7402 EtherCAT Box. This compact controller is a two-channel motor output stage for BLDC motors used in MDRs, regardless of the conveyor or roller motor vendor. The EP7402 offers optimal conveyor control through zero-pressure accumulation (ZPA) logic in its firmware, programming in the TwinCAT 3 engineering environment and high performance EtherCAT industrial Ethernet communication.
Perfect for conveying tasks in intralogistics, packaging, food and beverage, assembly and many other industries, the EP7402 offers numerous advantages:
- IP67 rated and compliant with new electrical standards being enforced in 2020
- does not require a protective enclosure
- measures just 174 mm x 60 mm x 36.5 mm
- mounts in standard C-channel or L-brackets directly on the conveyor frame
- One Cable Automation (OCA) via two B23 ENP hybrid connectors
- multiple M8 sockets to support two MDRs per device and digital I/O for peripheral sensors, vision systems or junctions to the entire range of EtherCAT Box modules
The EP7402 offers MDR conveyor systems the robust functionality and built-in diagnostics of EtherCAT. Reductions in cabling cost, installation effort and equipment footprint are also possible using EtherCAT P. This OCA solution supplies both EtherCAT communication and 24 V DC for roller motors and peripheral I/O, and enables easy daisy chaining back to machine controllers. Optionally, 24 – 48 V DC versions are planned. The hybrid B23 cables can carry 28A to distribute power to up to 16 MDRs. Industrial-hardened infrastructure will refresh power for further roller motors and a diverse range of field devices.
The MDR controller allows integrated functional safety in the system architecture via TwinSAFE technology from Beckhoff. As a result, conveying systems can easily incorporate standard e-stops, pull cords, light curtains and other safety devices into the convenient and simplified EtherCAT P wiring solutions.
The EP7402 is fully integrated into TwinCAT 3 automation software, which simplifies programming and commissioning. ZPA for local control is fully autonomous and can be selected via parameters. Built-in motor protection features include voltage monitoring, thermal overload protection and overcurrent protection. Further, Beckhoff offers an intralogistics framework for additional features based off function blocks available in the TwinCAT platform for control of the entire system.
The TwinCAT IoT toolkit provides additional benefits when installing EP7402 modules in data-intensive operations, such as digital transformation and Industrie 4.0 concepts. All MDR controllers can easily transmit diagnostic data back to TwinCAT Analytics for production dashboards and predictive maintenance in conveying systems.