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, 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.
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.
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.
ETG membership is open to all companies, whether device manufacturers or users. ETG members:
- Receive access to technical specifications and the developer’s forum
- Contribute to the further development of EtherCAT in the way of Technical Working Groups
- Receive implementation support from their local ETG office
- Get access to free software stacks and tools, and get access to additional development products
- Are permitted to use the EtherCAT and ETG logos
- May display their EtherCAT products and services in the official product guide, at tradeshows, and at ETG events.
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 and Task Forces, 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.
To request more information about membership and our organisation please contact us.