classic | mobile


SA Instrumentation & Control Buyers' Guide

Technews Industry Guide - IIoT 2018

Technews Industry Guide - Maintenance, Reliability & Asset Optimisation


EtherCAT roadshow in South Africa
December 2018, News

Together with the EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG), Technews Publishing recently organised a series of breakfast seminars at venues across the country, in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Johannesburg. Accredited for CPD points, the seminars focused on EtherCAT technology and its many advantages over classical Ethernet technologies. The highly informative and entertaining sessions were presented by Martin Rostan, executive director of the ETG.

Executive director of EtherCAT Technology Group, Martin Rostan.
Executive director of EtherCAT Technology Group, Martin Rostan.

The events were sponsored by Beckhoff Automation, Ana-Digi Systems, Festo, ifm electronic, Omron and SA Power. They were accompanied by an exhibition held in parallel to the seminars, where the sponsor companies demonstrated their individual EtherCAT products and applications.

EtherCAT is an open, high performance, easy to deploy, cost-effective application layer protocol for Ethernet applications, and it is widely regarded as one of the best industrial networks to date. One reason for its growing popularity is that it is several orders of magnitude faster than Profibus, DeviceNet, and ModbusTCP. Its outstanding synchronisation capabilities and full bandwidth utilisation are also very attractive for motion applications where synchronising a large number of axes may be required. It is also an enabler for Industry 4.0 applications.

The EtherCAT event organisers and sponsors (left to right): Evert Janse van Vuuren, Omron Electronics; Frans Esterhuizen, SA Power Services; Marcus Gericke, Festo; Jane van der Spuy, Technews Publishing; Martin Rostan, EtherCAT Technology Group; Kenneth McPherson, Beckhoff Automation; Soh Mntambo, ifm electronic and Mornay Steyl, Ana-Digi Systems.
The EtherCAT event organisers and sponsors (left to right): Evert Janse van Vuuren, Omron Electronics; Frans Esterhuizen, SA Power Services; Marcus Gericke, Festo; Jane van der Spuy, Technews Publishing; Martin Rostan, EtherCAT Technology Group; Kenneth McPherson, Beckhoff Automation; Soh Mntambo, ifm electronic and Mornay Steyl, Ana-Digi Systems.

Starting with an overview of the technology, Rostan highlighted the benefits. For example, he explained that three primary factors limit the performance of standard Ethernet in real-time communication applications: bandwidth utilisation, stack delays and switch delays. With EtherCAT the need for stacks and switches in the network is completely eliminated.

This was followed by a user-oriented presentation on ‘EtherCAT in practice’. It included hints and advice for installation, the use of proper cabling, and a whole range of useful diagnostic features and capabilities. Rostan also explained how to smooth the migration path from classical fieldbus to EtherCAT.

He then went on to describe a wide range of applications showing how it is possible to generate competitive advantage with EtherCAT through reduced downtime, cost savings, precision, performance, robustness, and throughput efficiency. The applications ranged from dancing Kuka robots, to injection moulding and plate bending machines, to hydraulic control of the sails on a race winning yacht, to test and measurement by Airbus, VW and Porsche, to electric propulsion drives retrofitted by the Canadian Coastgard, to the world’s largest telescope on the International Space Station, to oil well rod pump control, and finally, a wave making system in the UK.

Based in Germany, the ETG is the world’s largest industrial Ethernet and fieldbus organisation, with 5047 member companies in 65 countries. Its core purpose is to promote EtherCAT technology through the development of the open EtherCAT standard. ETG brings together manufacturers and users who contribute through technical working groups to the advancement of the technology. Rostan explained that membership is growing by 500 companies every year. “If you are looking for a fieldbus solution that is high performance, affordable and easy to install, why go for something slower just because it is more expensive,” he concluded.

To link to the special supplement produced for this breakfast seminar series, please see

For more information contact Jane van der Spuy, Technews, +27 31 764 0593,,

Supplied By: Technews Publishing (SA Instrumentation & Control)
Tel: +27 11 543 5800
Fax: +27 11 787 8052
Share via email     Share via LinkedIn   Print this page

Further reading:

  • From the editor’s desk: Fresh start bridges the gap to optimism
    December 2018, Technews Publishing (SA Instrumentation & Control), News
    At last South Africans have something to celebrate as we head into the end-of-year holiday season. Our troubles are far from over of course, but the recent changes in government leadership have given ...
  • Emerson to buy General Electric’s Intelligent Platforms business
    December 2018, Emerson Automation Solutions, News
    Emerson has announced that it has agreed to acquire Intelligent Platforms, a division of General Electric. Intelligent Platforms’ programmable logic controller (PLC) technology will enable Emerson to ...
  • Cobot rings the bell at New York Stock Exchange
    December 2018, News
    On October 17, the ringing of the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange was highly unusual as the prestigious task was performed not by a human, but by a robot arm. The bell ringer, Universal Robots’ ...
  • Endress+Hauser plans new regional centre near Houston
    December 2018, Endress+Hauser, News
    Endress+Hauser has announced its plan to build a new Gulf Coast Regional Centre Campus outside Houston, Texas, located in close proximity to the company’s oil and gas customer base. Construction is currently ...
  • SMC has changed its name
    December 2018, SMC South Africa, News
    SMC Pneumatics South Africa now has a new name – SMC Corporation ZA. This name change reflects the growing range of non-pneumatic components being developed by SMC globally, thanks to the company’s continued ...
  • The Engineering Institute of Technology celebrates 2018 African graduates
    December 2018, News
    Some 60 graduates from 10 African nations attended the Engineering Institute of Technology’s (EIT) 2018 African Graduation Gala, held recently in South Africa. The online learning platform reaches EIT ...
  • MyFuture 4.0: next level digital skills and careers expo
    December 2018, News
    “South African organisations focused on building a future customer base and next generation workforce need to engage with the next generation now in order to understand Generation Z’s biggest concerns ...
  • The Rexroth HUBB: a new era for Bosch Rexroth in Africa
    December 2018, News
    Tillmann Olsen, chief executive officer of Bosch Rexroth South Africa, reflects on what the inauguration of the new Rexroth HUBB means for the fluid power and automation industry in sub-Saharan Africa. A ...
  • Hydraulic and Automation Warehouse now stocks 700 bar hose
    December 2018, Hydraulic & Automation Warehouse, News
    Hydraulic and Automation Warehouse (HAW), a member of the Hytec Group of Companies, now supplies 700 bar hose for use on hydraulic tooling. These hoses are lightweight and have high abrasion resistant ...
  • Innovative vertical gravity samplers delivered by eDART
    December 2018, eDART Group, News
    To meet the requirement of an international customer, eDART Slurry Valves designed, tested and manufactured a vertical gravity sampler assembly (VGSA) for application within the minerals processing sector. Duane ...
  • Schneider Electric at Ramaphosa’s WEF Roundtable
    December 2018, Schneider Electric South Africa, News
    Schneider Electric participated at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Regional Roundtable with President Cyril Ramaphosa and members of the South African government held in Johannesburg. Highlighting the ...
  • Report on FIRST Tech Challenge
    December 2018, News
    FIRST Tech Challenge World Festival April 2018 South Africa was represented at the World Festival in Houston by volunteers Paul Stapelberg and Tshwane University of Technology’s Johannes de Vries. Stapelberg ...

Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronic Buyers Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual


    classic | mobile

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.