As an "Industrial Ethernet" in automation, the communication standard has meanwhile gained a firm place thanks to its high performance and easy handling. Industry-standard Ethernet interfaces such as Ethercat, Profinet, Powerlink or Ethernet / IP are now increasingly being offered for devices on the lower field level as well as for encoders. This raises the question of whether this is really practical or rather oversized? The answer is Baumer ready:
It could be found by looking at specific examples of applications, of which there are actually many. It generally shows that in plant engineering and mechanical engineering the decision for an Ethernet technology falls with the selection of the controller. Using encoders with a different bus technology makes little sense, especially since the costs would be the same. Rotary encoders with Ethercat, Profinet, Powerlink or Ethernet / IP interface can therefore be found in many areas, such as sheet metal bending and stamping presses, as well as in laser cutting, in filling systems or in conveyor and packaging technology. Even with sawing machines, high-bay warehouses or tire production, Ethernet-capable encoders have proven their worth.
At the same time, a look at the applications shows that a wide range of variants plays an important role in encoder selection, since the different application areas - irrespective of the choice of interface - require different encoder designs. Baumer takes this into account with a wide range of absolute encoders that not only support all industrial Ethernet interfaces, but are also available, for example, in all common designs and, depending on the type, are suitable for shaft or hollow shaft mounting. The user has the choice between magnetic or optical scanning principles. Magnetic encoders are suitable for applications involving dust, dirt, moisture, shock and vibration. Optical encoders display their strengths in high-precision applications. Absolute encoders are suitable for speeds up to 10.000 min-1 and are offered with different resolutions up to 29 bits in the (gearless) multiturns. Mutiturn encoders, where bus covers with interface electronics and encoders are designed as separate modules that can be combined in any combination, increase flexibility and simplify storage.
However, the trend towards diversity in Ethernet technologies is continuing: Baumer is currently working on the integration of Profinet Safety. Interesting options are also available from encoders with the "Power over Ethercat" function. This allows fieldbus signal and power to be transmitted over a single cable.