KPA EtherCAT Studio

KPA EtherCAT Studio

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.

Operating Systems

  • Windows® XP / Vista / 7

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).
  • Developed in .NET.
  • Integrable to host application by .NET Remoting.

  KPA EtherCAT Studio Flyer (67.5 KiB, 789 hits)

  KPA EtherCAT Starter Kit Flyer (183.4 KiB, 328 hits)

Master Configuration

  • 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 KPA extensions, 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.

EtherCAT Topology

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.

Process Image viewer

Process Image viewer shows allocation of inputs/outputs in memory.

Slave-to-Slave communication

Slave-to-Slave communication allows logical communication of slaves in input-output matrix of the Process Image without direct physical wiring.

ECAT Projects Comparing Tool

ECAT Projects Comparing Tool allows comparison of a project available in the Studio against another project from a file.

Differences are highlighted with customizable colors, property values are available.

Slave Configuration

Main Functions

  • 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)

Attributes

  • ESI file manager
  • ESI-SII comparator
  • EEPROM – Editor (offline, online)
  • Excel Import (signals, init commands)
  • Adding and changing of Init Commands
  • Transparent handling of MDP (Modular Device Profile) Slaves like CAN-and Profibus-Master Gateways
  • Programming of Station Alias Addresses

Extendable Slave Library

Slaves Library opens for new slaves and can be rebuilt in a simple way.

You can add a new slave to Slaves Library by placing the file in the Library working folder.

The same procedure is used to update the files already available in the Library.

ESI and EEPROM Comparing Tool

The tool enables comparison of EEPROM content acquired directly from a Slave device or provided in a file against the content of a file either assigned to the Salve or chosen by a user.

EtherCAT Diagnostics

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

Alarm System

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. Most of critical alarms are provided with additional description of possible causes and remedies.

Alarms List

Alarms List displays alarms and events 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.

Troubleshooting Guide

Troubleshooting Guide is a knowledge database collected by our commissioning and support team during the years of working with the technology. The Guide has descriptions of possible causes and remedies for the most common problems that may appear during commissioning or finding a bottle neck. 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 monitoring multiple channels from one or several slaves simultaneously.

Snapshot Viewer

Signal values are gathered during operation and stored to make a snapshot. The viewer then displays the snapshot.

Taking snapshots reduces overall load on the system in order not to affect hard real-time performance.

Data Logging Tool

The EtherCAT Data Logging Tool manages the data logging on the Master side.

The Studio retrieves the stored data and enables building of charts for signals picked from a defined set.

Statistics

The Studio collects various statistical data:

  • Network activity acquired from the NIC
  • EtherCAT activity acquired from the master
  • CPU and bus loads.

Log File

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. It is possible to keep the information in a log file.

Frame Logger

Information about frames circulation saved in a log file can be displayed in Frame logger chart viewer.

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
  • WCF
  • 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:

  • d2t
  • fastCenter
  • FEV
  • ISaGRAF
  • Phoenix software, etc.

SDF components

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)

  • Dialogs
  • Controls

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)
  • extensions:
    • plug-ins
    • tools
  • customizations:
    • localizations
    • brand labeling

SDF is already localized to several languages and can be localized to any language through localization procedure.
SDF functionality can be extended by writing custom tools and plug-ins. For more information, please, refer to SDF Flyer.

SDF Evaluation version is available through customer portal and by contacting Sales