Beckhoff Automation recently introduced the new EP7402 EtherCAT Box, which offers two outputs with integrated motion controller for the direct connection of 24 V DC conveyor roller motors or other BLDC motors (up to 3.5 A). Eight additional digital inputs/outputs enable connection for 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 from the conveyor or motor manufacturer. The control of the motors is sensor less. 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 provide functions such as Zero Pressure Accumulation (ZPA), single or block discharge. 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).