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Ethernet System Description

TURCK 7/24/2018
Ethernet System Description

Ethernet is the most popular protocol used to connect office computers and peripherals today. It is increasingly finding its way into other applications, and is rapidly becoming the network of choice for higher level industrial control applications. Ethernet is primarily used to connect PLCs, computers, HMI displays and other high level components.

The term "Ethernet" actually refers to the lower level communication structure. Various different versions, or implementations, of Ethernet are available, such as Ethernet/IP and Modbus-TCP. It is important to note that while all of these different specifications use the same physical communication method and can operate on the same cable simultaneously, they cannot necessarily communicate with each other. For example, Modbus-TCP devices cannot communicate with Ethernet/IP devices. This is because the messages and communication protocol have been defined differently for these systems, even though the physical electrical structure is the same. Think of it as two people who speak different languages; they speak by moving air with their mouths, but the rules of the languages are different.

TURCK’s BL67 Ethernet Gateways provide a convenient way to connect industrial I/O devices directly to the Ethernet system, expediting monitoring and troubleshooting for the overall control scheme.

Typical System Configuration

Ethernet System Description

Basic Parts List

A typical Ethernet system consists of the following parts:

• A - Controller
• B - Switches
• C - Ethernet I/O modules
• D - Ethernet cable
• E - Power supply

Ethernet I/O modules act as clients on a network. A server device is needed to retrieve data from and post data to the client. This is analogous to an office network, where the client PC on a user’s desk may actively connect with multiple servers to access information in different areas of the enterprise. TURCK Ethernet stations are designed to be fully compatible with established Ethernet standards for industrial use.


TURCK offers a complete line of molded Ethernet cordsets to facilitate network installation, resulting in a faster start-up and fewer wiring errors. Cables are available with stranded or solid-core conductors, with or without shielding.

Most TURCK Ethernet equipment uses the 4 or 8-pin (M12) eurofast connector specifications. These connectors provide a tough, rugged seal, and are IP 67 rated. In some cases (mainly in the control cabinet) a traditional RJ45 Ethernet connector needs to be used. TURCK provides RJ45 cordsets, as well as a variety of devices made to convert between RJ45 and eurofast connectors.

TURCK cordsets for the Ethernet system are available in standard lengths. Please contact your local sales representative to order custom lengths.


Industrial Ethernet stations use the IP addressing scheme. An address defined by this scheme consists of four byte values usually displayed in decimal form, for example, Different classifications of networks require different portions of this address to be constant for all devices on the network (referred to as a "subnet"). This means that the number of stations allowed on a particular network varies depending on what class of subnet is being used. If the first three bytes of the IP address are constant (which is common), then the remaining byte may be addressed between 2 and 254, resulting in 253 possible addresses.

Maximum Ratings

Ethernet allows different maximum cable lengths depending on the type of cable being used. Normally an Ethernet segment may be as long as 100 m, where 90 m must be solid core cable and the remaining 10 m can be stranded patch cords.

Ethernet BL67 Stations

TURCK's BL67 is a modular, user configurable network I/O system designed to allow installation of nodes containing different types and sizes of I/O depending on the users needs for a particular area. Featuring IP 67 protection and metal threaded connectors, the BL67 can often be mounted directly on a machine without the need to plan or purchase a separate enclosure for the I/O. This saves planning and installation time, as well as the cost of the enclosure itself.

The BL67 system supports several different network protocols, including Ethernet/IP and Modbus-TCP. A BL67 station consists of a gateway module that interfaces to the Ethernet system, and several I/O modules that interface with the physical I/O in the field. Different connector options are available to allow a greater level of customization to the user.

Ethernet System Description