POWERLINK is a standard Ethernet-based communication protocol that guarantees reliable and deterministic communications: it is therefore well suited to meet the needs of industrial automation and process control.
The ability to operate both time-critical and nontime-critical processes with the same bus has encouraged its widespread use - particularly in those applications with a significant motion part, such as robotics.
POWERLINK utilizes the same object dictionaries and communication mechanisms as CANopen, including process data objects (PDOs), service data objects (SDOs), and network management (NMT). For this reason, POWERLINK can be referred to as a "CANopen over Ethernet."
Why should you choose POWERLINK?
Main features of the POWERLINK fieldbus:
- Real-time data
- Freedom to choose the network topology best suited to the application (star, tree, ring, or combinations of all these network architectures)
- Cyclic and isochronous data exchange: the Managing Node, during the clock cycle, sends requests to all nodes according to a predetermined sequence (equidistant time cadence) while waiting for the response from each node
- deterministic, as the network and device update time is constant
- dynamic mapping of PDOs.
Compared to EtherCAT, the POWERLINK fieldbus provides hot plugging functionality: disconnection of one (or more) nodes does not affect network functionality; if one node is disconnected, the others continue to operate. This means, for example, that it is possible to disconnect part of the robotic line for maintenance and reconnect it without "disturbing" other connected machines.
Ever Elettronica's POWERLINK fieldbus drives - biaxes for stepper and brushless motors - are available from the beginning of 2023.