The line of mass flow, pressure, and liquid instruments from Alicat Scientific can be ordered now using the EtherCAT protocol. The users of Beckhoff PLCs for industrial automation can connect their Alicat devices with the high-speed and robust EtherCAT protocol.
When it comes to chemical, medical, manufacturing, and power industries, Alicat instruments rapidly and precisely monitor and control vital process parameters. These devices are fast and reliable so they are particularly suited to vacuum coating processes such as Atomic Layer Deposition and Chemical Vapour Deposition. All mass flow or pressure controller’s data can be output to a central PLC running a compatible automation protocol. The user of the mass flow or pressure controllers can change setpoint or gas selection, and issue other commands remotely.
EtherCAT joins the wide offering of industrial automation protocols from Alicat, including Modbus TCP/IP, Modbus-RTU, EtherNet/IP, DeviceNet and PROFIBUS communication options that can fit both new and existing systems. Alicat instruments are made to fit in the same space as common industry mass flow controllers so it makes it easy to replace the older industrial units. All of the instruments from Alicat are backed by NIST-traceable calibration, comprehensive technical support, and the flow industries only lifetime warranty.
The manufacturers of vacuum deposition units are turning their interest to software-based industrial PLCs. The PLCs can offer many benefits such as greater productivity, precision performance, cost savings, speed to market, and the ability to add processes like motion control and machine vision in the future. There are many different Ethernet fieldbus standards available which makes it difficult to choose one. Choosing the wrong standard can mean an unnecessary cost and sacrificing an advantage due to a slow performance.
Data speed and integrity are vital when it comes to control and regulation of vacuum coating processes. EtherCAT is designed especially for these applications and meet all demands for faster controls. The EtherCAT protocol is a high-performance, low-cost, and user-friendly Industrial Ethernet technology with a flexible topology. EtherCAT technology is being continuously developed and it is open technology for anyone to implement.
EtherCAT is the fastest Industrial Ethernet technology, that can synchronize with nanosecond accuracy. This is a huge advantage in multiple applications where the process is controlled by the bus system. The speedy reaction times can reduce transition times between process steps. Therefore, EtherCAT performance can lead to improved efficiency, greater throughput, and can lower cost.
EtherCAT provides the features of Industrial Ethernet at a cost that is like traditional fieldbus systems. All that is required is an Ethernet port which eliminates the need for expensive interface cards or co-processors. EtherCAT slave controllers are available from multiple manufacturers in different formats.
EtherCAT P is the latest addition to the EtherCAT protocol standard. It allows not only the transmission of communication data but also the peripheral voltage via a single, standard four-wire Ethernet cable. Both the EtherCAT and EtherCAT P are identical when it comes to protocol technology, but the physical layer differs. By having a power supply via the communication cable, EtherCAT P can offer additional cost benefits and increases various applications.
EtherCAT compliant Mass Flow and Vacuum Controllers are now available with Alicat Scientific. The extremely fast response time and reliability of Alicat instruments are paired with the speed of the EtherCAT. EtherCAT technology has been seamlessly integrated into the product family.