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‘eXtreme Fast Control’ for extreme, harsh environments

02 September 2009

With the EP1258 EtherCAT Box, XFC is now also available in a robust and compact IP 67 housing for installation outside of control cabinets. The XFC box detects digital input signals with a highly precise temporal resolution of one nanosecond directly on the machine. This allows reaction times to be shortened and very fast events to be detected and processed further without requiring special hardware. This leads to improved quality and increased productivity of the machine.

‘eXtreme Fast Control’ for extreme, harsh environments
‘eXtreme Fast Control’ for extreme, harsh environments

The XFC technology (eXtreme Fast Control) from Beckhoff makes an extremely fast, high-precision control architecture possible. The EP1258 EtherCAT Box supports XFC in compliance with the time stamp method. The signal curves can be precisely reproduced in terms of time and placed in relationship to distributed clocks in the EtherCAT system. The machine-wide, parallel hard wiring of digital inputs or encoder signals for synchronisation purposes can usually be eliminated using this technology. The reactions, which are equally spaced in terms of time, are thus independent of the cycle time of the controller, so that even in the case of a short PLC cycle, signal acquisition and processing is possible in the nanosecond range.

As an EtherCAT slave, the EP1258 XFC box can be integrated directly in 100BASE-TX EtherCAT networks. It features eight digital inputs, of which two are designed for applications with a time stamp. The IP 67 module is optionally available with an M8 or M12 screw-type sensor connection.

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