EtherCAT Technology Group becomes the world’s largest fieldbus organisation

06 December 2010

The EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG) has recently become the world’s largest fieldbus organisation. Already basting the title of the largest Industrial Ethernet organization.

The ETG has now attracted over 1500 member companies from 52 countries, and can now also claim the title of world’s largest fieldbus organisation of any kind. Its membership continues to rise at a rate of 1 new member every day CEE was told at the SPS event.

In Europe and North America growth remains robust, but it has become even stronger in Asia, with 400 member companies.

Worldwide acceptance of the technology is underlined by the impressive membership figures, as well as by the available variety of devices with EtherCAT interfaces.

At the EtherCAT Technology Group booth at the SPS/IPC/Drives 2010 show in Nuremberg, Germany, 64 co-exhibitors showed over 260 different EtherCAT devices.

An impressive demo at the event was a multi-vendor drive demo that showed 35 different axes of motion from 22 vendors – all operating synchronously on a single EtherCAT network.

EtherCAT features include high precision device synchronization, cable redundancy options, and a functional safety protocol (SIL3). EtherCAT is an international standard (IEC, ISO and SEMI).

The protocol Safety-over-EtherCAT (FSoE) was specified for the transmission of safety relevant data. It is standardized in IEC 61784-3 Ed.2 and is used to send input information of safety sensors (such as safety light curtains or emergency stop buttons) to a safety logic controller. Based on these inputs, this controller computes the commands for the safe outputs (such as contactors or safety relevant drives) and thus controls the safety functionality of the machine.

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