Articles on: Learning & FAQ

How to Use the EtherCAT Bus?

EtherCAT Bus Overview

EtherCAT is a prevalent fieldbus communication protocol in industrial Ethernet, outperforming traditional industrial Ethernet in various aspects. One of its distinguishing features is its ease of use.

Application Characteristics

EtherCAT bus application is characterized by the following:

Flexible Topology: Supports virtually any network topology

Maximum Cable Length of 1000 Meters: Cable lengths between nodes do not require planning

Automatic Node Address Assignment

Fixed Communication Rate of 100 Mbps

No Communication Parameter Configuration Required

Debugging Steps


The routine uses our company's EtherCAT AC servo T7 and Omron controller NJ501-1500 as examples for explanation.

Step 1: Hardware system establishment

The construction of the hardware system mainly includes the master station, slave stations and supporting communication lines. For example: the following figure is a schematic diagram of the network connection between NJ501-1500 and two T7s.

Install the programming environment Sysmac Studio on the computer;
The Ethernet port of the controller is connected to the network port of the computer;
The EtherCAT port of the controller is connected to the ECAT IN of the driver;
The ECAT OUT of the first drive is connected to the ECATIN port of the next drive (this example only demonstrates controlling one T7, the method of controlling two T7s is similar);

Step 2: Install device description files

Copy the device description file T7-EC_V1.03.xml to the installation directory corresponding to the programming environment.

Step 3: Add master and slave stations and configure parameters

1) Open the Sysmac Studio programming environment, create a new project, and select the controller and software version of the corresponding model.
2) Add nodes under Configuration and Settings-EtherCAT Master

3) In the motion control settings - axis settings - (right click) add an axis and set the axis parameters, as shown in the figure

Step 4: Programming and online operation

Add program in Programming-POUs-Program-Program0-Section0

Online operation: Under the condition that there are no errors in program compilation, set up the communication connection, download the program after getting online, trigger the enc of the program to enable the motor, trigger relative1 to make the driver run, and trigger stop1 to stop the driver.

At this point, the simple online introduction to EtherCAT has been completed!

Updated on: 27/05/2024

Was this article helpful?

Share your feedback


Thank you!