As the network technology progresses, the system framework of equipment automation has gradually changed from the traditional centralized control (i.e., using the add-on card) to the distributed control. In response to this trend, many distributed communication protocols have been published. In recent years, Ethernet for Control Automation Technology (EtherCAT) has fully supported by global manufacturers due to its great openness, high synchronization, real-time capability, low-cost design, and easy implementation.
Various automation companies and equipment manufacturers have also adopted EtherCAT; consequently, it has been a de-facto standard. Compared with the traditional expensive motion cards which have redundant cables and are not easy to implement, the EtherCAT does have its advantage conditions.
The EtherCAT communication technology utilizes the master-slave architecture, the controller is the master, and the distributed devices such as I/O modules and servo motors are the slaves. All the network topologies form a completed automation system. The controllers based on EtherCAT master have also been widely used in various equipment automation, such as industrial robots and machine tools. These control centers are more versatile and flexible through EtherCAT technology.
Furthermore, EtherCAT is an entirely open communication protocol. Under this open strategy, many manufacturers have invested in developing related products and have almost established the industrial control ecosystem based on standardizing the communication of EtherCAT. Because of this standardized open communication protocol, it is easy to cooperate with each manufacturer and accelerate the development of the industry.
NexCOBOT developed an EtherCAT master communication software, NexECM (NexCOBOT EtherCAT Master). It’s easy and quick for customers to build their own EtherCAT controllers with NexECM for their equipment automation application. The advantages of NexECM are as follows:
- Standardization: Follow the EtherCAT standard ETG.1500 to develop the Master, and fully supports ESI (ETG.2000) device configuration and ENI (ETG.2100) device network configuration.
- Integration: NexCOBOT is a professional IPC hardware platform manufacturer; therefore, we can focus on the x86 hardware platform, the real-time operating system (RTOS), and the EtherCAT master to integrate and optimize software and hardware. Also, we provide one-stop service.
- Quick Import: NexCOBOT provides NexECM Studio, a user-friendly EtherCAT configuration software that helps customers to finish set up and testing in a short time.
- Complete Services: Our professional EtherCAT team offers training and technical consulting services.
Regarding the slaves, we provide the whole I/O modules, including digital type, analog type, communication type, and pulse motion control. NexCOBOT also offers the customization of EtherCAT I/O modules according to the customers’ equipment application requirements.