KPA EtherCAT Studio is a tool for EtherCAT network engineering, installation and diagnostics. This easy-to-use solution for EtherCAT based masters provides a set of functions required to create and handle master configurations and monitor EtherCAT network. It is integrable to other design environments to establish a common development workspace with extended functionality.
- Windows® 10 (also work on XP, 7, 8, but the systems are not supported by MS)
Main Features and Functions
- Slaves connected to remote Master or local master
- Change all data of master and slaves (Object dictionary, Process Image, Registers, Firmware)
- Multilanguage User Interface (English, Chinese, German, other on request)
- Compatible with any based EtherCAT master (according to ETG specifications)
- Integrable to host application by .NET Remoting
KPA EtherCAT Studio Flyer (370.7 KB, 4,245 hits)
KPA EtherCAT Starter Kit Flyer (138.5 KB, 2,388 hits)
- Project file handling and comparing
- Topology creation via bus scan, read from file or drag-and-drop
- Comparison between configured and real networks
- Process Image with scaling
- S2S Editor
- Handling for FSoE Master and Slaves
- Various Sample Rates
- Distributed Clocks (DC) settings
- Import signal names from CoDeSys
- Export network configuration files
- ETG.2100 with extensions of koenig-pa GmbH, ETG.2100
- IEC 61131-3 Standard, Export of “C” header files
EtherCAT master network configuration
Upon attaching to Master, the Studio acquires Master configuration (if the Master is running) or scans the network to detect the real hardware configuration, and then compares a Master side configuration against the one available in the Studio. If configurations do not match, there are several possibilities to manipulate the differences, such as simple replacement of master or studio side configuration with its counterpart or advanced interactive merge of configurations.
Topology window displays structure and state of EtherCAT network. When there is a loss of communication between segments, you will see the wire highlighted with red color. If a cable breakdown occurs with redundancy check enabled, the system will indicate the place of breakdown.
EtherCAT Cable Redundancy
Nowadays redundancy has become a must in most applications due to increased requirements to sustainability and reliability of the systems employed in process automation. Cable redundancy makes possible several things that used to be bottle-necks of conventional field bus systems built up on closed ring principles, such as cable feedback for problem finding and system availability in case of cable break. If a line break occurs in the network, it is detected and the topology will display the event (red wire). Due to redundancy in wiring and network cards all slaves remain connected to EtherCAT Master.
Slave-to-Slave (S2S) communication allows logical communication of slaves in input-output matrix of the Process Image without direct physical wiring.
By means of Slave-to-Slave communication is performed the management of safety system. Safety uses so called black channel approach, where FailSafety over EtherCAT (FSoE) is sitting on top of EtherCAT slave stack in slave device. Here safety and usual process are mixed in one media. EtherCAT Master has to route safety message(s) from safety slaves to safety masters using Slave-to-Slave communication. In case of safety situation, the Slave-to-Slave is unable to send data and in connections, crc and status will be zeros instead of valid data. In this case safety logic starts according to defined behavior.
- Creation of distributable Master Configuration files according to ETG standards
- Free declaration of I/O signal names and addresses
- Variable declarations exchange with software development tools in:- IEC 61131-3 (PLC configurations or in XML-format)- “C” / C++ (*.h files)
- Transparent handling of MDP (Modular Device Profile) Slaves like CAN- and Profibus-Master Gateways
- Supporting of the Memory and EEPROM editor
- Process data configuration
- Supporting of Mailbox protocol
- Defining Device Identification Address
- Name changing
- Slave type
- Process image display period
- Statistics display period
- Revision number
- Physical address
- Auto increment value
- Adding and changing of Init Commands
- PDO configuration
- Hot-connected groups and segments
- Memory mapping
- Defining virtual and custom variables
- Sync manager
Extendable Slave Library
KPA EtherCAT Studio 2 gives an opportunity to work with Slaves Library collections. It is easy to create a new collection, modify and save it, load the collection created before or from other sources, create different descriptions of the same slaves, apply uESI attributes, and edit separate slave in the collection: clone, import, remove and change slave’s properties.
Working with the Slaves Library collections also gives an opportunity to search the Slave. It could be done by Slave’s name or part of it. Also, it is possible to call up the history of searches, will be displayed last 9 queries.
ESI and EEPROM Comparing Tool
The tool gives an opportunity to compare the previous expected configuration of the slave (given in the EEPROM) with the existing to understand weather it is possible to replace the slave, or it should be reconfigured. Categories with differences, different values, absence of items and coincidence are displayed in various colors, which can be adjusted by the user.
The configuration may be kept not only from EEPROM, but also from ESI files.
It is possible to generate ESI files from EEPROM and vice versa by using EEPROM Editor.
Modular Device Profile
Modular Device Profile (MDP) defines a modeling of structures within a device. Mainly it deals with the object dictionary structure and corresponding behavior of the entries. Customer can change the appearance of the product (icons, name, splash screen, etc.).
- The MDP Modules plug-in is intended to configure slave supporting MDP with modules specified in its ESI file. Each module can add its process data: PDO and signals and their indexes are dependent on the position of the module. Slots have limits and not all modules can be applied to them. The quantity of modules is also limited.
The EtherCAT bridge terminal EL6692/EL6695 enables data exchange between EtherCAT strands with different masters. It consists of two EtherCAT slaves in one case. For example: the EL6692 on the primary side (terminal bus) and the EL6692-0002 on the secondary side with network cable connection.The KPA M2M plug-in is intended to configure both sides of the bridge terminal (Primary and Secondary. Primary – the slave changes its state to Operational without checking if structures of inputs and outputs of Masters match. Secondary – the slave changes its state to Operational only if structures of inputs and outputs of Masters match.)
The structure of Inputs and Outputs signals on one side inverses at transferring them to another side. In other words, Inputs become Outputs and Outputs become Inputs.
MDP 4-CAN Gateway plug-in is intended to configure KPA EtherCAT 4-CAN Gateway device with or without KPA EtherCAT 4-CAN Gateway driver.
KPA Studio has a built-in plugin for CANopen Master. This plugin allows the user to adjust CANopen Master configuration got by scanning CAN bus.
The Virtual Serial COM plugin is a separate feature which is, by default, available in the Premium class of KPA Studio. The plugin is intended to configure the serial interface terminal and its communication with the Virtual Serial COM port.In conjunction with the KPA Virtual Serial COM driver (further KPA VCOM driver) and the KPA EtherCAT Master the serial interface terminal can be used as a normal Windows COM interface.
Therefore, the user can communicate from its Windows based application with the device supported RS232/RS422/RS485 serial interface through the Virtual Serial COM port.
- The Profibus slave plugin is intended to configure EL6731-0010 for communication between EtherCAT® and PROFIBUS.
Information about the EL6731-0010 see at www.beckhoff.com.
An important distinctive feature of the technology is high availability of EtherCAT based solutions and systems. Availability implies two key factors: reliability of solution or system and reduction of downtime. Since reliability is mostly related to the technology itself and quality assurance, the greatest concern in reduction of downtime is to react to malfunction correctly and in proper time. For these purposes the diagnostic capabilities play a significant role. In order to utilize them to full extent and provide personnel with explanations and remedies of well-known cases KPA EtherCAT Studio has an alarm system with a troubleshooting guide.
Main Diagnostic Functions
- Data- and Frame- Logger
- Diagnostic Scanner
- Categorized Messages
- Causes & Remedies
- Connection Quality
Alarms List displays alarms, events, and emergencies that have been registered during the Studio being attached to master, in order of their appearance. Each message is provided with ID for better recognition, a time stamp to show when it happened, and a brief explanation of the problem or event. You can sort out the messages according to their severities and source.
Faults and Emergency massages
Alarm system registers all alarms and events that may occur while the Studio is online (attached to master) and reports them in several ways. Severity of events stipulates the type of notification accordingly. Critical alarms are followed by a notification window in order not to miss such events and immediately take measures required to clear the problem. Descriptions of possible causes and remedies for the most common problems that may appear during commissioning or finding a bottle neck are presented in the Troubleshooting Guide – knowledge database collected by our commissioning and support team during the years of working with the technology. Descriptions are made in a comprehensive form and available online in context of event or problem that has emerged.
Online Chart Viewer
Online Chart Viewer is an important diagnostic function of KPA EtherCAT Studio. The Viewer allows to monitor multiple channels from one or several slaves simultaneously. It gets an opportunity to visualize the variables which are selected in the online mode.
The Snapshot Viewer window serves to display a chart created out of snapshots taken from a value (Channel or Signal). Taking snapshots is configurable. The user can define the following parameters:
- Total number of snapshots taken
- Time frame to take snapshots
- Repetition of snapshotting
- Time frame for repetition
Signal values are gathered during operation and stored to make a snapshot. The viewer then displays the snapshot. On the screenshot presented the monitoring of the signal’s value with the specified interval.
Taking snapshots reduces overall load on the system in order not to affect hard real-time performance.
Data Logging Tool
With the help of Data logger it is possible to set which variables are to be saved in the certain file. On the base of this file is generated the diagram. Data logger gives an opportunity to set the conditions (for example, to stop the recording or do something else when the set situation is happened). The logger runs and waits until the condition happen only after that the logger starts the recording and the record is visualized. So, the user immediately can see that the value out of tolerance.
The Studio collects various statistical data:
- Network activity acquired from the NIC
- EtherCAT activity acquired from the master
- CPU and bus loads
Ethernet (eth0 for Linux) statistics – statistics of the certain network card. It displays how many frames were sent, how many errors were fixed, how many packages were sent and received, etc.
Ethernet 2 it is NIC. Here is displayed how many frames the master sent and how many frames did not pass, etc.
Default task statistics displays the divergence of the set periodicity values of the device with the real.
Log File and Frame Logger
Collected data are very helpful in analyzing performance of the entire system and finding bottle-necks if any occur. Frame logger viewer shows statistical information about all frames received and sent by Master and saved in a log file.
The system of power tracing allows to monitor the power supply and consumption of LVDS slaves on the bus to avoid power lack issues in the configuration.
If the slaves are lack of power the tool discolors them to red and shows negative values of Power influence.
On the first screenshot it is seen power lack (red colored slaves) and on the second where added EL9400 (power supply terminal) there is enough power (all slaves are green).
EtherCAT Studio Development Framework (SDF)
Studio Development Framework (SDF) is a set of businness logic and user interface components providing software developers possibility to build a custom EtherCAT configuration and diagnostic tool. KPA EtherCAT Studio is based on SDF and may be represented as an example of EtherCAT configuration tool.
SDF Architecture and integration
SDF provides front-end interfaces:
- .NET remoting to connect to running SDF instance remotely
- COM, etc.
SDF has online connection to KPA EtherCAT master as back end and supports all ETG specifications. SDF could be integrated into any IDE.
SDF is already integrated into several IDEs and tools:
- KPA Automation
- Phoenix software, etc.
SDF core interfaces and GUI components provide a full set of objects for custom EtherCAT configuration tool using BLF procedure (brand labeling).
User interface (UI)
Automation interface/business objects (BL)
- core interfaces representing EtherCAT object model:
- project, security
- master, slave, process image, etc.
- slave library
- online interface to master over remote procedure calls (RPC)
- plug-ins (MDP Modules, MDP Profibus Master Gateway Profile 3100, M2M, Profibus slave, CANopen Master, CAN Interface, MDP 4-CAN Gateway, Virtual Serial COM)
- tools (Data logger, EEPROM Editor, ESI and EEPROM Comparator, Frame Logger, Motion Configuration Utility, Process Image Viewer, RunTime Data Logger, S2S Communication Editor, Snapshot Viewer, Topology Viewer)
- brand labeling
SDF is already localized to several languages and can be localized to any language through localization procedure.
Any brand could be applied to labeling.
SDF functionality can be extended by writing custom tools and plug-ins.