EC-Engineer Web V2.0: New Features

The new version of the EC-Engineer Web contains many new features which are described on the following page. But there are also a few technical things to mention. This new release is now based on .NET Core 3.1 (LTS version). The Angular version and the controls has also been updated. The updated components lead to an improved stability and a state-of-the art design.

New Features Version 2.0

 

EC-Simulator Extension

Version V2.0 of EC-Engineer Web includes multiple new functions for creating the configuration for the EtherCAT network simulation software EC-Simulator. This enables the simulator to better simulate the real slaves with their properties.

Simulated slaves that support CANopen-over-EtherCAT (CoE) include an Online Dictionary. The EXI (Extended Network Configuration) file may optionally contain the slave-specific Object Dictionary declarations. These slave-specific Object Dictionary declarations can be generated from the ESI file provided by the device manufacturer, or uploaded from the slaves via the EtherCAT network. In addition to the overall structure of the object dictionary, even the objects’ data can also be included in the EXI file.

Screenshot from CoE Settings in EC-Engineer Web

If the EXI file does not contain a slave-specific Object Dictionary for a simulated slave, then EC-Simulator provides a generic Object Dictionary.

The slave's actual Online Object Dictionary depends on the device firmware and other criteria. The generic Object Dictionary therefore likely mismatches the slave's actual Object Dictionary. Some common mismatches between the generic Object Dictionary and the slave's actual Object Dictionary are: differences in the number of objects, differences in data types, and differences in content.

The master application might behave differently if using a generic Object Dictionary instead of the actual Object Dictionary. Therefore, by including the actual Object Dictionary in the EXI file, it is possible to make the slave’s simulated online dictionary match the slave's actual Object Dictionary.

As the screenshot shows, there is also the possibility to edit the EEPROM and the Register values of the slave. Also some specific topology options can be set.

 

Support for Multiple Tasks and Master Sync Units

This new feature enables the creation of multiple tasks and master sync units. Multiple tasks and master sync units make it possible to process multiple EtherCAT cyclic tasks in separate application threads of EC-Master. From the application perspective, this makes it possible to structure EtherCAT process data across multiple threads. Therefore, process data that requires different cycle times can be handled accordingly.

For example, a typical application may have one task for servo drives that requires very fast cycle times, and another task for I / O data that does not need very fast processing or special cycle time requirements.

 

Support for Renaming Variables

It is also possible now to edit variables directly in EC-Engineer Web. That makes it a lot easier to track specific variables and use them within EC-Master. The changed variable names will of course also be in the ENI file.