Ethernet group discusses safety, conformance testing

The EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG) held a Technical Working Group (TWG) Semi meeting and focused on Safety over EtherCAT (FSoE) technology and conformance testing.

By EtherCAT Technology Group July 23, 2021

The EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG) held a Technical Working Group (TWG) Semi meeting. One of the key topics at the most recent meeting was Safety over EtherCAT (FSoE) technology, which was presented to participants in detail by ETG safety expert Dr. Guido Beckmann. The meeting covered relevant use cases in the area of functional safety for the semiconductor manufacturing machines referred to as “tools” as well as the associated devices to be worked out in the future.

Florian Essler, who has been supporting the work of the TWG Semi from the ETG side since 2011, explains: “Today, we consistently see a deep understanding from manufacturers in the semiconductor industry with regard to EtherCAT. Bringing Safety over EtherCAT into this ecosystem will address another particularly powerful aspect of EtherCAT. This will make a big contribution as the major machine builders in the industry can make significant advancements with the integration of functional safety in their machines.”

Another topic was the enhanced features of the EtherCAT conformance test tool (CTT), which contributes to increased test automation as well as greater test coverage – including tests for FSoE.

So far, the TWG has developed 14 specific device profile (SDP) documents with more than 20 device profiles for the semiconductor industry. In addition, new projects are constantly in development, so that in the meantime there is a corresponding overview document with the SDP design guideline, which describes how an SDP is written, what has to be considered in the implementation and how to handle more complex questions in the profile definition.

The TWG Semi meets semi-annually in plenary sessions and in many sub-working groups. This has resulted in a set of specifications for using EtherCAT in semiconductor applications that has contributed significantly to the success of the communication standard in this industry.

– Edited from an EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG) press release by CFE Media.

Original content can be found at Control Engineering.

Author Bio: EtherCAT Technology Group