MOTION CONTROL: In order to provide ideal support to drive vendors within the EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG), the EtherCAT Slave Sample Code now includes the CANopen drive profile according to the ETG implementation guideline. With this new update, the sample code becomes even simpler for drive vendors to utilize EtherCAT. The common code basis leads to unified interfaces and simplified setup, especially considering that the drive parameters have also been integrated into the EtherCAT conformance test tool.
The EtherCAT specifications cover not only the “How” to communicate, but also the “What”: Device profiles define the functionality and their parameters as well as the content and formatting of the process data. The standard IEC 61800-7 specifies the drive profiles that EtherCAT uses: part 201 of the standard is the CANopen drive profile CiA402, while part 204 is the SERCOS drive profile.
The implementation guideline of the EtherCAT Technology Group for CiA 402 selects the cyclic synchronous communication modes among the various drive operation modes: they are not only the ones with the best performance, but also have the fewest parameters and provide the simplest interface as a result.
These operation modes have been covered by the EtherCAT conformance test tool for some time. The new development is their implementation in the sample code for slave devices, which is now shipping with EtherCAT slave evaluation kits. So far industrial automation and controls vendor Beckhoff Automation has shipped over 700 of these kits and the kit purchasers get the enhanced code as a free update.
-Edited by Kelsey Anderson