Press release BoxID: 624927 (Beckhoff Automation GmbH)
  • Beckhoff Automation GmbH
  • Hülshorstweg 20
  • 33415 Verl
  • Contact person
  • Silke Franke
  • +49 (5246) 963-140

The most efficient way to measure compressed air - directly in the field and directly in the EtherCAT system

IP 67 I/O system: EP3744 differential pressure measuring box

(PresseBox) (Verl, ) Compressed air is still used in nearly every area of industry, whether for driving, controlling, movement or transport. For efficient machine and plant processes, compressed air must be analysed and monitored as thoroughly as possible while being optimally integrated into the control system. A compact all-in-one solution for this is the EP3744 EtherCAT Box. The IP 67 rated module combines compressed air measurement, EtherCAT connectivity and digital I/Os for use directly in the process, outside of electrical cabinets.

In addition to six digital inputs and two digital outputs, the EP3744 EtherCAT Box has four pressure inputs with integrated 6 mm fittings. The pressure is measured as the difference to the fifth pressure connection, which is fed via a hose into a protective housing for IP 67 conformity. The measured data is provided in the form of 16-bit values which are transmitted in an electrically isolated manner to the controller. The measuring range is 0 to 1 bar (15 psi), with a resolution of 1 mbar per digit.

This all adds up to a compact stand-alone device for the direct measurement and monitoring of pressure in the field. On the one hand, long routes or hose connections from the process to the control cabinet are eliminated. On the other, the frequently stipulated isolation of electrical and pneumatic systems is incredibly simple to achieve. Further advantages of this system-integrated solution are the short reaction times - due to local measurement using only one A/D converter - as well as the EtherCAT connection and additional digital I/Os, integration into the control system is particularly efficient.

Detect and avoid leaks while reducing energy costs

In addition to control or regulation, analysis and diagnostics are indispensable wherever pneumatic systems are used. For example, the operating pressure can be monitored using the EP3744 EtherCAT Box and an altogether better transparency of the machine is achieved. A further important function is the avoidance of leaks, which reduces the costs associated with the energy-consuming generation of compressed air. Decentralised and system-integrated pressure measurement is also the ideal solution for the prompt detection and localisation of leaks.

The EP3744 can similarly contribute to a smooth workflow: for example, the vacuum necessary for the gripping process in automatic pick-and-place machines can be monitored without great expense. To do this, the EtherCAT Box only needs to be integrated into the compressed air supply of the suction gripper via a simple junction (T-piece).