The EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG) recently held its first Safety over EtherCAT Plug Fest with great success. Numerous manufacturers of EtherCAT safety master and slave devices came to Verl, Germany, to test the interoperability of their Safety over EtherCAT (FSoE) devices and to exchange knowledge with the other participants and the experts on-site.
EtherCAT Plug Fests have been a fixture in the ETG event calendar for many years. Although the exclusive focus on FSoE was new at this particular Plug Fest, it was well received: A total of 36 participants from 18 different companies came to Verl, Germany, where the event took place at the facilities of ETG member company Beckhoff Automation GmbH & Co. KG. The attendees tested their FSoE devices for interoperability, and in total they brought nine masters, 15 slave devices as well as one stack and one tool. According to the experts on-site, the interoperability of all devices was consistently very good.
EtherCAT devices without safety functionality were not permitted at the event; the EtherCAT protocol served only as a transport layer. The focus of the event was on FSoE masters as safe controllers for distributed and central solutions as well as on FSoE I/O devices. In addition, safe drives whose safe drive functions are implemented with the support of the ETG.6100 profile were tested. The profile serves to standardize the functionality and parameters for drive-integrated safety functions.
Guido Beckmann, who attended the event as FSoE expert from the EtherCAT Technology Group, explains: "Since the introduction of Safety over EtherCAT into the ETG in 2007, the technology has been very well received by our members. FSoE is one of the most widely used safety protocols, with 38 companies known to us offering such products, not least due to its simple implementation. The Safety over EtherCAT Plug Fest clearly showed us that the communication between FSoE devices also works wonderfully."
Due to the success of the first Safety over EtherCAT Plug Fest from ETG, further events will follow in the future. All information about dates and participation can be found online at www.ethercat.org/events.
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