Beckhoff Integrates Ethernet-APL Technology with its ELX6233 EtherCAT Terminal for Process Technology Plants

July 31, 2023
The ELX6233 EtherCAT terminal’s compact, dual-channel communication interface simplifies integration of field devices in hazardous areas, supporting digitalization in process industry applications.

The concept of Ethernet-APL (short for advanced physical layer) aims to revolutionize communication within process technology plants by implementing an Ethernet-based system for the entire communication framework—from the field to higher-level control systems. Recognizing challenges such as massive plant footprints and specialized requirements in hazardous environments as well as limited network sizes and slow data transmission rates, Beckhoff has integrated Ethernet-APL technology into its modular terminal block portfolio.

Key features of the ELX6233 terminal block include:

  • compact device footprint
  • seamless mount in control cabinets
  • flexible and easy interconnection
  • improved cycle times in comparison to field switch solutions
  • compatible with EtherCAT terminals, couplers and other devices.

READ MORE: Realtime control: Ethernet for control-automation technology (EtherCAT) eliminates network shortcomings | Machine Design

Space-saving, Cost-effective Compact Design

One of the key advantages of the EXL6233 is its space-saving design. This terminal block lets users create the exact number of Ethernet-APL channels needed within control cabinets, minimizing space requirements and reducing costs. Its 24 mm width fits into any application, including large-scale process industry plants or compact test setups.

Support for Intrinsically Safe Field Devices

The ELX6233 can be mounted in zone 2 of hazardous areas. Its special circuitry ensures that the ports adhere to the highest explosion protection class and can connect intrinsically safe field devices within zone 0. The terminals’ parameters are designed to meet the specifications of IEC 60079-47 and follow the SPAA (TS10186) port profile, complying with safety standards. Data security is also higher due to the separation of individual ports and protocols.

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