Online Update Check

EC-Engineer V3.6 now checks automatically for new versions. The check is executed once every month, but it is also possible to deactivate the check and/or check for updates manually. Both can be done through the Help menu:

If an update is available the following dialog appears:

The 'Yes'-Button will open our update request site, where it is possible to register for an update. If maintenance is active then the update will be delivered in one or two days.

It is also possible to view the release notes and learn about the new features and fixes in the new version.

Improved Scope Chart View

The chart on the process image and variables tab has been significantly improved in EC-Engineer V3.6. Now the chart shows more values and has a faster update rate. Additionally it is now possible to increase the size of the chart to see more details.

The new chart view also supports multi-selection on the variables tab, so it is possible to select two variables at once and view both of them in the chart. For better differentiation the variables are shown in two different colors.

As a result of showing more values, we also implemented a zoom function to see the exact values of each variable on a finer scale.

SCI Import / Export

Recently the ETG has released a new ESI specification, and with it the ETG has published the new SCI feature. SCI stands for Slave Configuration Information and is an XML-based file description of a specific configuration of an EtherCAT slave.

An SCI file can be used by a configuration tool for an EtherCAT device instead of the ESI file. Unlike the ESI, the SCI does not describe all features and/or possibilities of a device, but instead just one specific configuration made for a specific use case. The description is fixed and cannot be changed in a configuration tool after loading the SCI.

The SCI files are using the extensions "*.sci" instead of "*.xml". The structure of the SCI file is the same as the ESI file, meaning the same schema file EtherCATInfo.xsd applies for SCI files as well. While the SCI is a complete description of the slave, and technically can be used without the need of the related ESI, it is intended that the SCI file will always be provided with the ESI file.

With EC-Engineer V3.6 SCI files can be imported through the ESI Manager exactly like ESI files. When an SCI should be used in a project the SCI can be added with the append slave function. Please make sure that the new SCI filter is active.

It is also possible to export SCI files with EC-Engineer in the context menu of a slave. So, for example, a Modular Device Profile (MDP) slave can be configured and exported as a pre-configured device.

More information about SCI can be found on the ETG homepage in the ESI Schema.