Monitoring and Diagnosis Software and Tools

Acontis is offering several software products for monitoring and diagnosis of EtherCAT networks. This site is showing the features and differences between the products and will help to decide which tool or development kit is needed for which use case.

EC-Engineer is a powerful software tool for Windows and Linux used for configuration, diagnosis, and monitoring of EtherCAT® networks. Using this single tool one can handle all required engineering and diagnosis tasks in a quick and comfortable way. The modern, clear, and very intuitive user interface, which is also rarely using popup dialogs, is crucial for a smooth experience in configuring, diagnosing, and monitoring of EtherCAT® systems.

EC-Lyser helps to figure out issues if the network startup isn't successful, or if the communication is disturbed by bad cables, connectors or Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC).

EC-Inspector is an easy to use software application for Windows for analyzing and monitoring EtherCAT networks. The program can be used independently of the master controller and works with EtherCAT masters from many manufacturers. EC-Inspector analyzes the complete data traffic between the master and the EtherCAT slaves via a TAP (Test Access Point) device inserted after the master.

EC-Monitor is a software development kit (SDK) with a library for analyzing the data traffic of an EtherCAT network. The process data (inputs and outputs), the slave states, the slave error counters, and other important EtherCAT data are extracted from the EtherCAT frames and made available to the application via a C programming interface.

System Architectures

Local Diagnosis

The slaves are connected directly to the Engineering System (Windows PC or Linux System).

Remote Diagnosis (RAS)

The slaves are connected to the controller. The diagnosis software connects to the controller via a secondary TCP/IP connection using a proprietary API. This is supported by EC-Master.

Diagnosis via ETG.1510 Interface

The slaves are connected to the controller. The diagnosis software connects to the controller via a secondary UDP/IP connection using the ETG.1510 standardized interface. This is supported by EC-Master and Beckhoff TwinCAT.

Diagnosis with Network TAP

A Network TAP is added to the EtherCAT Network. With this TAP it is possible to monitor EtherCAT traffic with the Engineering System running EC-Inspector. This is supported by numerous master vendors.

Monitoring with Network TAP

The installation of a Test Access Point (TAP) between the controller and the first EtherCAT slave allows passive monitoring of the entire data traffic on the EtherCAT network. The frames are forwarded to the EC-Monitor library via the monitor interface of the TAP and decoded there. A customer application can analyze and further process the determined process data.

Feature Comparison

This table gives a quick overview about the main features of the different software tools and development kits.

EtherCAT Tools Selection Guide

Here is a flow chart with simple questions, to find the right tool for each use case.