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Ethercat
#1
In the PowerPMAC sales literature reference is made to being able to include the Ethercat package into the Linux machine. Has anyone developed a .deb for this yet? Ideally this would take 512 bytes of shared memory and mirror 2048 input points and 2048 output points to Ethercat I/O racks. Is TU Eindhoven's SOEM project a good starting point for this?

<Not a Kernel Guru!>
Jeff
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#2
Jeff,

We have already added EtherCAT master capability to Power PMAC firmware. As long as you order a Power PMAC CPU with EtherCAT option you can use any EtherCAT slave to talk to. With this option you have unlimited EtherCAT IO connectivity and based upon the option, you can have different EtherCAT servo slave devices. We support:
- Cyclic Synchronous Position Mode
- Cyclic Synchronous Velocity Mode
- Cyclic Synchronous Torque Mode

Regards,
Sina Sattari
Chief Engineer
Delta Tau Data Systems, Inc.
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#3
Hello,

I am also interested in EtherCat.

I've seen pictures of the trade show demonstration which looks like the PowerPMAC is talking to a Beckhoff "slice IO" rack as well as various drives.

Are these EtherCAT devices configurable through simple text file setup, and can we map M vars to the IO bits and analog IO registers on something like the Beckhoff IO? We have been developing alot of software routines that access IO through the Ptr var constructs and would love if that worked for third party EtherCAT IO.

Thanks,
KEJR
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#4
KEJR,

The Power PMAC firmware January 2011 includes full EtherCAT support. The Power PMAC IDE release of January 2011 also supports EtherCAT setup, under motor setup, for all EtherCAT IO devices. We are currently working on adding setup software for EtherCAT servo drives.

All EtherCAT IO locations can be accessed through structures such as ECAT[i].Io[j] where i is the EtherCAT master enumeration and j is the IO number assigned based upon EtherCAT configuration.

Regards,
Sina Sattari
Chief Engineer
Delta Tau Data Systems, Inc.
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#5
Hi Sina,

Does the etherCat setup wizard allow you to see what the config is such that you can copy the text to a setup file? We prefer to have setup in text files if at all possible.

Can we map pointer variables (Mvars) to the ethercat data structures for IO?

We have been waiting for fast networked servo and compact IO in a unified environment for quite some time, this is great news. Just as an aside, have you guys done any testing on the Beckhoff IO over ethercat with regards to turnaround time for a loaded module? We found in the past that the Wago modules *seemed* to be limited by their internal bus that connects the IO "slices" together, or by electrical time constants of the IO modules. We were driving something like 128 bits of IO over 12mbit profibus and found it hard to have a 1ms update rate. Keep in mind this was approximately 10-11 years ago, the technology may have gotten better. This was based off of a Profibus card driving something like 128 digital IO lines.

KEJR
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#6
KEJR,

I know the System Setup tool accessible through Tools menu in IDE logs every single command that is being sent down to Power PMAC in a log window which is accessible by user and you can copy the data from there. In addition, we are trying to make an automated settings file generated for you, as a part of the Power PMAC Project which is automatically maintained through the System Setup software. This file is essentially any changes from factory default to present condition of the controller. Obviously this file would be generated and will keep track of only the changes made through Setup software.

About M-variable assignment, although you can do this, but we suggest using the structure names, such as ECAT[0].Io[1] or using #define to assign names to these structures for readability. Although there is 65536 M-variables available to you, there is unlimited (at least theoretically) number of #defines available to you.

On the speed of the IO, I'll have to get Henry to respond to your question.

Regards,
Sina Sattari
Chief Engineer
Delta Tau Data Systems, Inc.
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#7
That sounds good about the configurator. I like having options.

As far as Ptr vars we are using them on IO because we can get at them via the terminal/watch as well as motion programs via their descriptive name. Additionally our internal library of C functions expects Ptr vars for IO related items. Typically we have anywhere from 64-256 IO points and a handful of analog IO if at all. So I don't anticipate reaching the 65535 limit anytime soon! :)

If its quick to set up EtherCat/Beckhoff IO to do a loopback test that would be cool but we don't have a pressing need as of yet. We are torn if we want to switch to the ultralight/ethercat system on our next application or stick with the PPMAC-UMAC-Macro platform for now until the smoke clears. I'll call our distributor or you folks when the time comes that we need to decide.

Thanks,
KEJR
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#8
(02-23-2011, 06:21 PM)Sina Wrote: KEJR,

The Power PMAC firmware January 2011 includes full EtherCAT support. The Power PMAC IDE release of January 2011 also supports EtherCAT setup, under motor setup, for all EtherCAT IO devices. We are currently working on adding setup software for EtherCAT servo drives.

All EtherCAT IO locations can be accessed through structures such as ECAT[i].Io[j] where i is the EtherCAT master enumeration and j is the IO number assigned based upon EtherCAT configuration.

Regards,

When I open Tools|MotorSetup I can see both the PowerPmac and Ecat selections momentarily, but the Ecat goes away after a second or so. Is it necessary to have physical hardware connected in order for the ECAT option to stay up?

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#9
Jeff,

You have it completely correct. If you have a EtherCAT option, then the Ecat brach will stay and allows you to setup your EtherCat device(s).

Regards,
Sina Sattari
Chief Engineer
Delta Tau Data Systems, Inc.
Reply
#10
(02-24-2011, 10:49 AM)Sina Wrote: KEJR,

I know the System Setup tool accessible through Tools menu in IDE logs every single command that is being sent down to Power PMAC in a log window which is accessible by user and you can copy the data from there. In addition, we are trying to make an automated settings file generated for you, as a part of the Power PMAC Project which is automatically maintained through the System Setup software. This file is essentially any changes from factory default to present condition of the controller. Obviously this file would be generated and will keep track of only the changes made through Setup software.

About M-variable assignment, although you can do this, but we suggest using the structure names, such as ECAT[0].Io[1] or using #define to assign names to these structures for readability. Although there is 65536 M-variables available to you, there is unlimited (at least theoretically) number of #defines available to you.

On the speed of the IO, I'll have to get Henry to respond to your question.

Regards,

With ethercat we have performed update rates at 125usecs. I have not tried faster.
The typical recv time is ~4 usec and the send time is ~ 7 usec. . With the beckhoff I/O ethercat is used between each I/O devices. In otherwords each terminal has ethercat built into it so there is a 100Mbit rate to each I/O terminal.

With the WAGO I/O ethercat is only sent to the coupler (the module that takes ethercat ) The data is then sent to the terminals (the things that do I/O via K-Bus which I believe is RS422) which could explain why it was slow for your previous app.

WAGO and Beckhoff codeveloped the original K-Bus I/O I was told which is probable why they look virtually identical.

I don't see you having any speed issues if you were using Beckhoff I/O. However, you could have issues with the WAGO depending upon the K-Bus speed. I am no expert on WAGO's I/O but I think that is the case.
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#11
(02-24-2011, 01:08 PM)Sina Wrote: Jeff,

You have it completely correct. If you have a EtherCAT option, then the Ecat branch will stay and allows you to setup your EtherCat device(s).

Regards,

What do you mean by this? Is EtherCAT included in the latest firmware or is it an additional option that must be somehow loaded or turned on?
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#12
(02-25-2011, 06:13 AM)JeffLowe Wrote: What do you mean by this? Is EtherCAT included in the latest firmware or is it an additional option that must be somehow loaded or turned on?

I was told that the EtherCat option incldues a special ethernet port, so you can't use either of the two ethernet plugs that are on the original PPMAC. I don't know the details as to why it is this way.

KEJR
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#13
Jeff and KEJR,

As KEJR mentioned, EtherCAT requires a separate Ethernet Card since there is a specific requirement for Ethernet chip used by EtherCAT. The on board Ethernet controller is not compatible with EtherCAT, hence the extra Ethernet card. In addition, since we support multiple master EtherCAT, meaning you can have redundancy or two (or more) independent EtherCAT networks talking to the same Power PMAC, we offer different Ethernet cards which support 1 or 2 EtherCAT Ethernet connectors to be used either in a ring for redundancy or two independent networks.

Regards,
Sina Sattari
Chief Engineer
Delta Tau Data Systems, Inc.
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#14
How are you guys supporting different Ethercat devices? I met with the Beckhoff sales engineer for our area and he had mentioned that alot of devices come with an XML file to tell [traditionally] their twincat software what the device is. So one has to ask how the Power PMAC will interface to these devices. Are the XML files supported, or are they not needed due to the setup of the PPMAC? I am new to Ethercat, so I don't know the bus details yet.

Currently we are anticipating having need to use the following products at some point:

- Beckhoff ethercat terminal IO (analog, digital, maybe special functions).
- Copley controls Xenus and accelnet drives.
- Yaskawa Sigma 5 drives piggyback board.
- SMC or Festo pneumatic valve bank communication module

Does this seem like a reasonable expectation to set these things up with a power PMAC?

Thanks,
KEJR
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#15
(03-09-2011, 06:35 AM)KEJR Wrote: How are you guys supporting different Ethercat devices? I met with the Beckhoff sales engineer for our area and he had mentioned that alot of devices come with an XML file to tell [traditionally] their twincat software what the device is. So one has to ask how the Power PMAC will interface to these devices. Are the XML files supported, or are they not needed due to the setup of the PPMAC? I am new to Ethercat, so I don't know the bus details yet.

Currently we are anticipating having need to use the following products at some point:

- Beckhoff ethercat terminal IO (analog, digital, maybe special functions).
- Copley controls Xenus and accelnet drives.
- Yaskawa Sigma 5 drives piggyback board.
- SMC or Festo pneumatic valve bank communication module

Does this seem like a reasonable expectation to set these things up with a power PMAC?

Thanks,
KEJR

Currently we are working on setup program to support Ethercat devices. The last release does identify ethercat I/O devices. The next release will identify Amplifiers. By default we will look for built in XML information from device. User will be able to load the external xml file to provide the Rx/Tx PDO information. Currently we have tested Yasakawa, Copley, Beckoff I/O etc ethercat devices.
In the next release user will be able to configure the ethercat devices and then set up the Motor using the setup software.
Thanks,
Atul
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#16
Is there any information available on how a PowerPMAC with EtherCAT looks like? Where are the EtherCAT ports located and are you able to retrofit an existing PowerPMAC with EtherCAT Ports?

Thank you,
Felix
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#17
Attached is a pdf with one example picture of what the EtherCat port looks like on the Power PMAC (UMAC Form Factor). Please forgive my poor photographic abilities. The EtherCat port is on the far left side of the rack.



Attached Files
.pdf   Power PMAC with EtherCat.pdf (Size: 382.4 KB / Downloads: 131)
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#18
Felix,

The EtherCAT option on Power PMAC requires Express PCI port on your Power PMAC and depending on the CPU that you have, it is possible to add the PCI express to the board however, because of high speed communication lines on PCI express, it is recommended to order CPUs with this option built-in and not added-on.

Regards,
Sina Sattari
Chief Engineer
Delta Tau Data Systems, Inc.
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