EtherCAT accepted as IEC Standard

  • December 19, 2007
  • News

AUSTIN, TX, December 19, 2007 – The EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG) announced that EtherCAT is now an official IEC standard. The IEC standards for EtherCAT - 61158, 61784-2 and 61800-7 unanimously passed in final voting. This is a major landmark after more than four years of IEC committee work, during which the ETG was declared an official IEC standardization partner. As early as 2005, the EtherCAT specification was published by IEC as IEC/PAS 62407, which is now being replaced by the International Standards. In IEC 61158, the EtherCAT protocols and services are standardized, while IEC 61784-2 defines profiles for specific device classes. IEC 61800-7 is particularly important for Motion Control applications, since it makes EtherCAT a standardized communication technology for the SERCOS and CANopen drive profiles. This puts EtherCAT on equal footing with SERCOS I-III and CANopen respectively. The drive parameters, state machines and process data layout of the device profiles remain untouched when mapped to EtherCAT. As a result, the user interface does not change when moving from SERCOS and CANopen to EtherCAT, and device manufacturers can re-use major portions of their firmware. “The successfully completed international standardization is an important milestone for EtherCAT. It helps us machine builders to further increase the acceptance of this superior technology with our key account customers in particular. The device vendors get a complete specification that was written according to international rules,” comments Erich Hutflesz, ETG board member and manager of control systems at Schuler, a global leader in metal forming machine technology. The EtherCAT Technology Group continues to actively participate in IEC standardization. Currently, “Safety over EtherCAT” is being introduced to the appropriate work groups to include it in the next revision of IEC 61784-3, which is scheduled for 2009. The EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG) is an organization in which key user companies from various industries and leading automation suppliers join forces to support, promote and advance EtherCAT technology. With over 500 members, the EtherCAT Technology Group has become the largest organization in the world that is exclusively focused on Industrial Ethernet technologies. Founded in November 2003, it is also currently the fastest growing fieldbus organization. EtherCAT sets new standards for real-time performance and topology flexibility while meeting or undercutting fieldbus cost levels. EtherCAT features include high precision device synchronization a cable redundancy option and a functional safety protocol (SIL3).

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