EtherCAT passes as official IEC standard
The EtherCAT Technology Group announced this week that EtherCAT is now an official IEC standard. The IEC standards for EtherCAT – 61158, 61784-2 and 61800-7 unanimously passed in final voting. 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. 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,” said Erich Hutflesz, ETG board member and manager of control systems at Schuler. Hutflesz added that the standardization should help machine builders increase the acceptance of the superior technology. “The device vendors get a complete specification that was written according to international rules,” he said.
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.