EtherCAT power box delivers higher power in the field

12 March 2013

The new EP9214 power distributor box enables the local distribution and switching off of the power supply, providing the ability to exceed the power limitation specified by typical M8 plug connectors.

This I/O solution from Beckhoff is also said to provide diagnostics and control functionality for up to eight 24 V DC branch circuits per power box.

The IP67-rated EtherCAT Box I/O modules typically use M8 plug connectors for supplying power, which, according to the plug connector standard, are only suitable for a maximum amperage of 4 A. Therefore, it may not be possible to simply loop the supply through when modules have a large number of outputs.

A further limitation concerns the cables – the M8 plug connectors can only be used up to a maximum cable cross-section of 0.34 mm sq. If the cables from the control cabinet to the machine are long, an excessive voltage drop can occur at higher currents. As a result, the 24 V DC voltage (±15/20%) can no longer be maintained and the modules or connected sensors/actuators may no longer work properly.

The EP9214 power box is said to solve these challenges. Equipped with 7/8-in plug connectors, it maintains a total current of 16 A for each control and peripheral voltage with cable cross-sections of 1.5 and 2.5 mm sq. Even higher starting currents are briefly permissible at the outputs.

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