Beckhoff Simplifies Ethernet-APL Integration with New ELX6233 Terminal
Ethernet-APL field devices even in zone 0 can now connect directly to process control systems via the comprehensive, modular EtherCAT I/O system
To fully support digitalization in process industry applications, Beckhoff is making it easier to leverage Ethernet-APL with the ELX6233 EtherCAT Terminal. This compact, dual-channel communication interface simplifies integration of field devices in the hazardous areas of zones 0/20 and 1/21. The compact I/O terminal extends the proven combination of Beckhoff’s flexible EtherCAT system architecture and the intrinsically safe ELX portfolio to Ethernet-APL, in addition to HART or simple digital signals.
The rise of digitalization, especially for plant diagnostics and monitoring, remains a major topic in the process process industry, and Beckhoff has focused on new solutions to advance this goal.
In the past, the massive footprints of processing plants and highly specialized requirements in hazardous environments created challenges due to limited network sizes and slow data transmission rates. However, Ethernet-APL – short for Advanced Physical Layer – offers a new option with cable lengths up 1,000 meters (200 meters in intrinsically safe environments) and speeds of 10 Mbit/s.
The ELX6233 terminal meshes the advantages of the EtherCAT industrial Ethernet system with the emerging possibilities of Ethernet-APL. When connecting corresponding field devices, the new I/O terminal offers a modular approach along with numerous associated advantages:
compact device footprint and high channel density
easy expandability and an adaptable number of channels to suit each application
simplified integration even in existing plants
improved cycle times compared to field switch solutions
compatibility with all EtherCAT Terminals, Couplers and other devices
The ELX6233 connects to sensors according to the SPAA (TS10186) port profile and integrates them into the system via PROFINET. Two APL ports are available for this purpose in the space-saving 24-mm terminal housing. This allows the data from the connected sensors to be transmitted to the controller and to the higher-level process control system (DCS) via ultra-fast EtherCAT communication.