Hardware and software specialist United Electronic Industries (UEI) has today released its rugged and versatile EtherCAT compliant I/O Cubes.

The DNA-ECAT series of I/O chassis is based on UEI’s popular DNA-series Cubes, but includes a new CPU module specifically designed to run as an EtherCAT slave. The DNA-ECAT offers all the I/O flexibility of the DNA Cubes, including compatibility with over 60 different I/O boards.

EtherCAT developers can now harness the power and flexibility of the Cube, which can handle temperatures of less than 40°C and more than 85°C, 5g vibration, and 100g of shock. The EtherCAT Cube is ideally suited for a wide variety of industrial, aerospace, and automotive data acquisition and control applications.

The DNA-ECAT CPU Module occupies the top portion of the Cube and provides the CPU, Ethernet Network Interface Controller (NIC), indicator lights, timing/trigger interface, configuration ports, and internal power supply. It’s the brains of the Cube and controls the unit’s operations, including the interface with the host controller (and other Cubes), as well as supervising the activity of the I/O boards. In addition to connecting to other Cubes, the DNA-ECAT series can be installed in any chain with ETG conforming devices.

The remainder of the Cube is dedicated to I/O slots or layers. These slots are populated with the I/O modules that are selected to match your process or test application. With over 60 different I/O boards available, we’re sure to have just what your application requires.

We currently offer A/D boards to measure voltage, current, strain gages, and thermocouples. The company also offers D/A boards with outputs of ±40V or ±50 mA, Digital I/O interfaces for logic and "real-world" signal levels, counters and timers, quadrature encoder inputs, RVDT/LVDT, and communications interfaces for RS-232 and RS-422/485.

One of the selling points of EtherCAT is that it does not require Ethernet switches/routers for multi-chassis connectivity. The EtherCAT network is daisy-chain style, where an input cable comes from the host/master and then an output cable goes to another EtherCAT device. Other key EtherCAT specifications include built-in watchdog timers, safe state default conditions, and cable redundancy.

The DNA-ECAT Cubes offer a wide variety of mounting options. A flange kit is available that allows the Cubes to be mounted to a wall or other flat surface. Rack kits and DIN Rail kits are available to allow mounting in 19" racks or on DIN rails, respectively.

Pricing starts at $895 for the 2-Slot DNA-ECAT-200 Cube, $995 for the 4-Slot DNA-ECAT-400 Cube and $1,295 for the 8-Slot DNA-ECAT-800 Cube with ARO availability starting in Q4 2017.

For more information, please contact the company via the enquiry form.