EtherCAT Technology Group

The EtherCAT Technology Group keeps EtherCAT technology open for all potential users. It brings EtherCAT device manufacturers, technology providers, and users together to further the technology. It provides multiple Technical Working Groups where experts carefully work on various specific aspects of EtherCAT. All of these activities are focused on one common goal: keeping EtherCAT stable and interoperable. That’s why there is only a single version of EtherCAT, and not a new version each year. The ETG holds multiple Plug Fests in Europe, Asia, and America each year. The Plug Fests bring EtherCAT device developers together to test and ensure device interoperability. Using the official EtherCAT Conformance Test Tool (CTT), each manufacturer conformance tests its EtherCAT devices prior to their release. The ETG awards the manufacturer a Conformance Certificate following a successful test in an accredited test lab. The ETG also holds international seminars and workshops and represents EtherCAT at tradeshows throughout the globe. It also provides product guides, joint tradeshow booths, and seminar exhibits to help its members market their EtherCAT products.

The ETG has the largest number of members out of any fieldbus organization in the world. The list of members can be found on its homepage. However, the decisive factor is not how many members there are, but how active the members are in the ETG. Both the number and variety of EtherCAT devices is unparalleled, and EtherCAT’s adoption rate across Europe, Asia, and America surpasses that of all other Industrial Ethernet technologies.

International Standardization

The EtherCAT Technology Group is an official partner of the IEC. Both EtherCAT and Safety over EtherCAT are IEC-Standards (IEC 61158 and IEC 61784). These standards not only include the lower protocol layers, but also the application layer and device profiles, e.g. for drives. SEMI™ (Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International) has accepted EtherCAT as a communication standard (E54.20) for the semiconductor industry. The various Task Groups in the ETG Semiconductor Technical Working Group (TWG) define industry specific device profiles and implementation guidelines. The EtherCAT Specification is available in English, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese.

Global Activities

The EtherCAT Technology Group is active worldwide. Experts in the ETG offices in Germany, China, Japan, Korea, and the USA support ETG members before, during and after implementation. The technology is maintained in the Technical Working Groups (TWG), which define enhancements and also uniform device behavior by means of device profiles and implementation guidelines. All members are encouraged to contribute actively to the TWGs.

EtherCAT Milestones

Membership

ETG membership is open to all companies, whether device manufacturers or users.

  • ETG members have access to the members-only part of the EtherCAT website, which provides specifications, implementation guidelines, a developers forum, the EtherCAT Knowlege Base and other up-to-date information regarding the technology.
  • EtherCAT development products are intended for ETG members only.
  • Group members get preferred access to specification drafts, white papers, proceedings of ETG events, evaluation products and thus have a head start in evaluating, using or implementing the EtherCAT technology.
  • Members are eligible to participate in technical working groups or technical committees and thus have influence on future enhancements of the EtherCAT technology specifications. A list of all ETG Technical Working Groups is available within the members-only area.
  • ETG represent the member’s interest in international standardization committees such as IEC and ISO.
  • Latest information about the group, further developments of the technology and possible marketing participation as well as upcoming events is distributed via the ETG info mail (member's newsletter).
  • The member companies may use the EtherCAT logo to show their support for this technology as well as the EtherCAT Technology Group logo to show their membership in the group.
  • ETG members are eligible to promote their EtherCAT products and expertise in the official EtherCAT Product Guide and at ETG joint booths at major trade shows.
  • The membership is free of charge.

Become a member

How to get involved

ETG has gained a reputation of getting things done effectively. The organizational structure aims to ensure this:

Every ETG member is invited to contribute to the advancement of the EtherCAT technology by active participation in the various Technical Working Groups (TWG) and Task Forces (TF), which report to the Technical Committee (TC), The TC typically meets twice a year near Frankfurt International Airport, Germany, in order to ensure convenient access also from abroad. Committee participation, however, is not the only way of contributing to the specifications: members may also submit Technology Modification Requests directly to the TC chairperson for evaluation by the Technical Advisory Board (TAB). The TAB reviews and releases the EtherCAT specifications, selects and approves the Conformance Test Tool and releases new versions of the Tool. The Technical Advisory Board also acts as arbitration body in case of appeals against conformance verdicts.

 


Further Info

 

Members directory

Membership benefits

Become a member

To request more information about membership and our organisation please contact us.