Drives and Controls Magazine
Servodrives are built into EtherCat I/O terminals
Published:  23 November, 2020

At the virtual version of the SPS exhibition, Beckhoff has announced a series of servodrives built into EtherCat terminals with output currents of up to 16A at 48V DC. The ELM72xx drives are built into metal housings that dissipate heat, even at high output powers, as well as shielding the drives against electrical interference. The drives can connect via front-panel connectors to motors, feedback and brakes using a one-cable technology. They can also connect directly to other EtherCat terminals, while additional I/Os allow the latching of position values.

There are currently five different ELM72xx models available, in one- or two-channel versions with rms output currents from 4.5A to 16A (or 2 x 8A).

Integrated brake chopper controls allow braking resistors to be connected directly. Programmable TwinSafe Logic is built in for direct implementation of safety applications in the terminals and safe drive technology, either as STO/SS1 via FSoE (functional safety over EtherCat) or as a package of Safe Motion functions for safety-relevant drive technology via TwinSafe.

Compared to Beckhoff’s existing EL series, the new drives are said to offer enhanced performance and functions, as well as supporting pluggable wiring.

Beckhoff’s ELM72xx servodrives are built into metal-housed EtherCat I/O terminals

Designs are carried out using the TwinCat 3 Motion Designer software. An electronic nameplate and the TwinCat 3 Drive Manager 2 software simplify commissioning.