IT in Manufacturing


EtherCAT conformance tool updated

June 2022 IT in Manufacturing

Conformance to protocol standards is the basis for the problem-free interaction of devices from different manufacturers in the same network, also referred to as interoperability. Interoperability and standards are thus both vital to the success of a communication technology. Therefore, the EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG) attaches great importance to the conformance of EtherCAT devices: all ETG member companies commit themselves to testing their devices with the EtherCAT Conformance Test Tool (CTT) before market release.

Every manufacturer of EtherCAT slave devices is therefore familiar with the CTT. It represents the official reference for the specification-compliant implementation of EtherCAT technology in field devices. The first version was released in 2008, and so far all updates have proven to be functional extensions and not functional changes.

Version 2.3 inherits all functionalities and tests from the first version and thus underlines the stability of EtherCAT technology itself. This full backward-compatibility has proven to be a significant advantage for suppliers and users of EtherCAT solutions.

The CTT extensions – whether in tool functionalities or test coverage – are, as usual, based on practical requirements as well as feedback from device manufacturers. Over the years, the tool has evolved from a pure test tool that checks conformance after development is completed, to become a helpful ‘development companion’ software package that can be used to configure EtherCAT devices, put them into the desired state and, crucially, to stimulate them to behave in certain ways.

This trend continues with many of the new functionalities. For example, additional user interfaces have been added for controlling and testing specific EtherCAT protocol properties, as well as at the lower layers of the ISO/OSI models. The CTT now allows read and write access to the PHY registers, which is convenient and rarely supported by other tools – a particularly valuable feature during initial hardware prototyping.

All CTT functionalities are accessible for script-based control, and they thus allow for automated test sequences that can be integrated into the overall device acceptance test. Besides the many functionalities supporting the EtherCAT implementation itself, the core of the CTT has also been extended in terms of test coverage. Many semiconductor device profiles have been added to the standard test set. Coverage for the Servo-Drive-Profile according to IEC 61800-7-2 (the equivalent to CiA DS402) has been significantly increased as well.

The test logic and the tests themselves are defined and released by a special working group within the EtherCAT Technology Group, called the ‘Technical Working Group Conformance’. The CTT software itself, on the other hand, which executes the logic defined in the tests and evaluates the behaviour of the EtherCAT devices based on this logic, is developed and maintained by Beckhoff. This ensures continuous further development of the tool. This includes new functionality with a built-in configurator as well as support for all current Windows operating systems, including the 64-bit architecture. Version 2.3 of the Conformance Test Tool is available now to all ETG members.

For more information visit www.ethercat.org




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Unlock knowledge with Netilion Water Network Insights
Endress+Hauser South Africa IT in Manufacturing
With just a few clicks, an ISO 9001-certified and metrologically traceable verification can be triggered directly within the solution for all supported flowmeters.

Read more...
Network design for mission-critical systems
IT in Manufacturing
The network is effectively the nervous system of a modern site, allowing protection, control, monitoring, security and safety devices to intercommunicate in a quick, reliable and efficient fashion.

Read more...
High-speed Ethernet up to 1 km with Gigabit Ethernet extenders
Phoenix Contact IT in Manufacturing
With Power-over-Link and Power-over-Ethernet functions, the entire Gigabit Ethernet extender network and connected PoE devices are supplied with power via the data lines.

Read more...
Ready for industrial network evolution?
RJ Connect Editor's Choice IT in Manufacturing
To prepare for the future, it is time for industrial networks to evolve, and Moxa is committed to helping them take the leap towards the next generation of networking.

Read more...
Are engineers equipped with 4IR skills?
Editor's Choice IT in Manufacturing
Technology has evolved exponentially in the last 10 years, much faster than the 10 years before. A gap will undoubtedly develop if technology evolves faster than our skills. Therefore, we must start immediately identifying the gaps and what 4IR skills we need to fill them.

Read more...
Valmet mobile maintenance app
Valmet Automation IT in Manufacturing
VMM meets industrial cybersecurity standards, follows all best practices and guidelines, and is audited by an accredited service provider.

Read more...
Business platform to accelerate digital transformation
Siemens South Africa IT in Manufacturing
Siemens has launched an open digital business platform, Siemens Xcelerator, to accelerate digital transformation and value creation for customers of all sizes in industry, buildings, grids and mobility. The business platform makes digital transformation easier, faster and scalable.

Read more...
South African manufacturing sector’s readiness for Industry 4.0
Editor's Choice IT in Manufacturing
New research from PwC’s Insights into the I4.0 Readiness of SA Manufacturing 2022 report shows that I4.0 tools have the ability to increase the quality, flexibility, performance and overall competitiveness of the manufacturing sector. 

Read more...
Security certified IIoT edge gateway
Omron Electronics IT in Manufacturing
The DIN-mountable device can be installed in machine control panels to provide remote access for on-demand, real-time servicing of industrial equipment.

Read more...
EPLAN relegates device data DIY to history
EPLAN Software & Services IT in Manufacturing
With the new Data Portal Request Process, customers can order individual device data in Data Standard quality using a credit system.

Read more...