Beckhoff Celebrates 20 Years of EtherCAT

May 25, 2023

In the two decades since its Hannover Messe debut, EtherCAT has forever changed the world of industrial networking

Beckhoff Automation proudly commemorates the 20th anniversary of EtherCAT, the industrial Ethernet system that transformed the world of industrial networking. Since its introduction at Hannover Messe in 2003, the system has emerged as a powerhouse in speed, flexibility and openness, solidifying its position in the global market through its reliability and continuous technical advancements. Today, EtherCAT remains an open IEC standard and empowers companies across industries to leverage its key technological advantages.

The unbeatable performance and innovation potential of EtherCAT have made it a cornerstone in industries such as packaging, fabrication, assembly, entertainment and more. Additionally, it supports emerging applications in mobile robotics, intralogistics, electric vehicle manufacturing, aerospace, scientific research and semiconductor manufacturing (as a SEMI standard).

EtherCAT has played a pivotal role in driving forward the world’s automation applications through its high speed, determinism and flexible topology. From large scale applications such as giant telescopes with thousands of axes of motion to small IoT data collection devices and everything in between, EtherCAT has enabled remarkable technological achievements. With its proven track record, the system will continue to empower high-performance automation solutions for the next 20 years.

Beckhoff is renowned for incredible controls performance, which is supported by engineering experts who continually push performance limits in the world of automation. Built on the principle of PC-based control technology, Beckhoff makes it possible to harness the full advantages of a PC – most notably the high computing power – directly on the machine. EtherCAT was developed to utilize the high performance of standard Ethernet interfaces on PCs while reducing the complexity of standard TCP/IP Ethernet communications to maximize bandwidth utilization and performance. Even after 20 years, this paradigm remains as true as ever.

EtherCAT combines the standard Ethernet protocol with the reliability, performance and stability required for industrial communication, delivering significant advantages:

  • Exceptional performance: With the system, fast communication and nanosecond synchronization via distributed clocks optimize application efficiency while reducing CPU loads by up to 30%.
  • Flexible topology: Essentially any topology – tree, star, drop, line, circle, etc. – or any combination of these is possible with a nearly unlimited number of nodes and Hot Connect functionality.
  • Simple and robust: Automatic addressing of nodes, comprehensive and highly localized diagnostics, superior noise immunity and high bandwidth all streamline network implementation and maintenance.
  • Integrated safety: Available since 2005, Fail Safe over EtherCAT (FSoE) offers TÜV-certified functional safety up to SIL 3 in both centralized and decentralized control systems.
  • Affordability: No switches are necessary, masters only need an Ethernet port, and sub-devices can use a variety of ESC chips – all of which keep expenses near or less than legacy fieldbus costs.
  • Largest variety of vendors and devices: The EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG) is the world’s largest industrial Ethernet organization with over 7,100 member companies and over 3,000 officially registered vendors, with Beckhoff offering the most comprehensive portfolio of EtherCAT devices.

As an all-purpose industrial network, EtherCAT has become a foundational technology for all areas of modern industrial automation. So far, this includes drive technology, mechatronics, machine safety, condition monitoring, advanced measurement technology and machine vision, among others. And as emerging concepts break through, they will continue to find the powerful and flexible communication technology they need in EtherCAT.

For more information, you can view EtherCAT products from Beckhoff HERE, and visit the ETG website HERE.

Related Articles

Changing Scene

  • Eaton Canada Welcomes Dino Alimonti as New Vice President of Sales

    Eaton Canada Welcomes Dino Alimonti as New Vice President of Sales

    Dino Alimonti has been selected as Vice President, Sales, Eaton Canada, effective July 1, 2023. In his new role, Dino will be responsible for leading, developing and executing sales strategies across key targeted industry segments. He will manage and direct the growth activities of the Sales and Channel teams as well as provide business and operational leadership to the sales teams and associated support functions. Read More…

  • Roberta Nelson Shea from Universal Robots Receives Prestigious Robotics Award for Contribution to Robot Safety

    Roberta Nelson Shea from Universal Robots Receives Prestigious Robotics Award for Contribution to Robot Safety

    For the second time within five years, a key figure at Universal Robots (UR), the Danish manufacturer of collaborative robots (cobots), has been awarded the world’s most prestigious robotics prize, the Joseph F. Engelberger Robotics Award, often described as the Nobel Prize of robotics. Following in the footsteps of UR’s co-founder Esben Østergaard, who was given the Engelberger Award in 2018 in the Technology category, Roberta Nelson Shea, UR’s Global Technical Compliance Officer received the award for Applications at a ceremony last night at the Automate Show in Detroit. Read More…

Sponsored Content
The Easy Way to the Industrial IoT

The way to the Industrial IoT does not have to be complicated. Whether access to valuable data is required or new, data-driven services are to be generated, Weidmuller enables its customers to go from data to value the easy way. Weidmuller’s comprehensive and cutting-edge IIoT portfolio applies to greenfield and brownfield applications. Weidmuller offers components and solutions from data acquisition, data pre-processing, data communication and data analysis.

Visit Weidmuller’s Industrial IoT Portfolio.

For a Multiplied Value Unified


During the last few years, the Excelpro Group has welcomed AIA Automation, Envitech Automation and Conrad Lavoie Electrical, all of which have become ‘Member of the Excelpro Group’.

It was with great excitement that in November of 2022, Excelpro announced that these three companies officially became Excelpro. This decision is part of a strategy to enhance the Excelpro Group’s brand in its market.

These companies already collaborate on various client projects. This merger brings together the complementary strengths of the employees and ensures a global synergy of the activities throughout the Group.

Read More

Service Wire Co. Announces New Titles for Key Executives

Bruce Kesler and Mark Gatewood have been given new titles and responsibilities for Service Wire Co.

Bruce Kesler has assumed the role of Senior Director – Business Development. Bruce will be responsible for Service Wire’s largest strategic accounts and our growing Strategic Accounts Team.

Mark Gatewood has been promoted to the role of Vice President – Sales & Marketing. In this role, Gatewood will lead the efforts of Service Wire Company’s entire sales and marketing organization in all market verticals.

Read More

Tri-Mach Announces the Purchase of an Additional 45,000 sq ft. Facility

Tri-Mach Elmira Facility

Recently, Tri-Mach Inc. was thrilled to announce the addition of a new 45,000 sq ft. facility. Located at 285 Union St., Elmira, ON, this facility expands Tri-Mach’s capabilities, allowing them to better serve the growing needs of their customers.

Positioning for growth, this additional facility will allow Tri-Mach to continue taking on large-scale projects, enhance product performance testing, and provide equipment storage for their customers. The building will also be the new home to their Skilled Trades Centre of Excellence.

Read More

JMP Parent Company, CONVERGIX Acquires AGR Automation, Expanding Global Reach

Convergix Automation Solutions has completed the acquisition of AGR Automation (“AGR”), a UK-based provider of custom, high-performance automation design and systems integration primarily to the life sciences industry.

Following Convergix’s acquisitions of JMP Solutions in August 2021 and Classic Design in February 2022, AGR marks the third investment in Crestview’s strategy to build Convergix into a diversified automation solutions provider targeting the global $500+ billion market, with a particular focus on the $70 billion global systems integration and connectivity segments. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Read More

Latest Articles

  • Emerson Helps Optimize Innovative Recycling Process That Increases Sustainability of Waste-to-Energy Industry

    Emerson Helps Optimize Innovative Recycling Process That Increases Sustainability of Waste-to-Energy Industry

    Emerson is helping the Swedish cleantech company HaloSep to optimize their unique process that turns hazardous incinerator flue gas residue from waste-to-energy plants into usable materials. Emerson’s control technology and software is being deployed at HaloSep’s plant for optimization, research and technology (PORT) in Gothenburg, Sweden, to manage an innovative chemical separation process that recovers valuable salt, metals and minerals from fly ash. Read More…

  • Efficient Power Supplies – An Investment in the Future

    Efficient Power Supplies – An Investment in the Future

    In the search for a suitable power supply, the costs play a major role, alongside the technical requirements. The focus is often on the initial purchase price, while other potential costs that may be incurred during the operation of the power supply are not taken into consideration. In this blog post, we demonstrate why the decision to purchase a high-quality power supply is a profitable investment for your company, by taking a close look at all the costs involved. Read More…