ETG.1600 Installation Guideline

ETG.1600 Installation Guideline
Installation Guideline
Guideline for Planning, Assembling and Commissioning
of EtherCAT Networks
Document:
ETG.1600 G (R) V1.0.1
Nomenclature:
ETG-Number
Type
State
Version
ETG.1600
G (Guide)
R (Release)
V1.0.1
Created by:
Contact:
Date:
EtherCAT Technology Group
[email protected]
2016-05-02
LEGAL NOTICE
Trademarks and Patents
EtherCAT® and Safety over EtherCAT® are registered trademarks and patented technologies,
licensed by Beckhoff Automation GmbH, Germany. Other designations used in this publication may
be trademarks whose use by third parties for their own purposes could violate the rights of the owners.
Disclaimer
The documentation has been prepared with care. The technology described is, however, constantly
under development. For that reason the documentation is not in every case checked for consistency
with performance data, standards or other characteristics. In the event that it contains technical or
editorial errors, we retain the right to make alterations at any time and without warning. No claims for
the modification of products that have already been supplied may be made on the basis of the data,
diagrams and descriptions in this documentation.
Copyright
© EtherCAT Technology Group.
The reproduction, distribution and utilization of this document as well as the communication of its
contents to others without express authorization is prohibited. Offenders will be held liable for the
payment of damages. All rights reserved in the event of the grant of a patent, utility model or design.
www.ethercat.org
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
II
DOCUMENT HISTORY
Version
Comment
1.0.0
First Release
1.0.1
Capacitance values corrected in Figures 14 and 25.
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
III
CONTENTS
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Foreword and Scope ......................................................................................................................1
References .....................................................................................................................................2
Terms, Definitions and Word Usage ..............................................................................................3
3.1 Terms and Definitions ................................................................................................3
3.2 Word usage: shall, should, may, can .........................................................................3
EtherCAT Basics ............................................................................................................................4
4.1 Network Configuration ...............................................................................................4
4.2 Physical Media ...........................................................................................................4
4.3 Topologies .................................................................................................................5
4.4 Link Detection and Frame Routing ............................................................................6
4.5 On-the-fly Processing ................................................................................................8
Planning..........................................................................................................................................9
5.1 Environmental Conditions ..........................................................................................9
5.2 Topology Definition and Device Positioning ..............................................................9
5.3 Channel Dimensioning ............................................................................................ 10
5.3.1
Channel Parameters for 100BASE-TX Link ............................................ 11
5.3.2
Channel Parameters for 100BASE-FX Link ............................................ 16
5.4 Cable Selection ....................................................................................................... 18
5.4.1
Cables for 100BASE-TX Link .................................................................. 19
5.4.2
Cables for 100BASE-FX Link .................................................................. 26
5.5 Connector Selection ............................................................................................... 27
5.6 Cable Separation .................................................................................................... 28
5.7 Earthing and Grounding.......................................................................................... 29
5.7.1
Equipotential Earthing ............................................................................. 29
5.7.2
Star Earthing............................................................................................ 30
5.8 Selection of Infrastructural Components ................................................................ 31
5.9 Selection of EtherCAT Slave Devices .................................................................... 33
5.10 Additional Tasks in the Planning Phase ................................................................. 34
Assembling .................................................................................................................................. 35
6.1 General Procedures for Assembling ....................................................................... 35
6.2 Electromagnetic Protection ..................................................................................... 35
6.3 Mechanical Protection ............................................................................................ 41
6.4 Connector Assembling ............................................................................................ 46
6.4.1
Assembly of RJ45 Connectors ................................................................ 46
6.4.2
Assembly of M12 Connectors ................................................................. 48
Commissioning ............................................................................................................................ 53
7.1 Visual Check ........................................................................................................... 53
7.2 Measurement of Channel Physical Parameters ..................................................... 54
7.2.1
Cable Testing .......................................................................................... 54
7.2.2
Function Testing ...................................................................................... 55
7.2.3
Acceptance Testing ................................................................................. 56
7.2.4
Checklist for Channel Measurements ..................................................... 59
7.3 Measurement of Earthing System .......................................................................... 59
7.4 EtherCAT-Specific Diagnostics............................................................................... 60
7.4.1
Link Lost Counters .................................................................................. 60
7.4.2
RX Error Counters ................................................................................... 61
7.4.3
CRC Error Counters ................................................................................ 62
Summary ..................................................................................................................................... 63
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
IV
TABLES
Table 1: parameters for copper channel ............................................................................................... 11
Table 2: Reference parameters for a Class D channel of 100m length ................................................ 13
Table 3: reference parameters for fiber optic channel .......................................................................... 16
Table 4: reference parameters for fixed cables used for permanent link .............................................. 19
Table 5: reference parameters for flexible cables used for permanent link .......................................... 20
Table 6: example of cable used for permanent link............................................................................... 21
Table 7: examples of cable shield coding ............................................................................................. 23
Table 8: correspondence between conductor diameter and AWG coding ............................................ 25
Table 9: reference parameters for fiber optic cables ............................................................................. 26
Table 10: standard connectors for copper cables ................................................................................. 27
Table 11: standard connectors for fiber optic cables ............................................................................ 27
Table 12: reference values for minimum distance between communication and power cables ........... 29
Table 13: relation between cross section and length of earthing wires ................................................ 31
Table 14: possible additional tasks in the planning phase .................................................................... 34
Table 15: wire color correspondence between ISO 61918 and TIA-568-C .......................................... 50
Table 16: checklist for network visual inspection .................................................................................. 53
Table 17: checklist for channel measurements ..................................................................................... 59
Table 18: checklist for earthing system ................................................................................................. 60
Table 19: Link Lost Counter registers ................................................................................................... 61
Table 20: RX Error Counter registers .................................................................................................... 61
Table 21: CRC Error Counter registers ................................................................................................. 62
FIGURES
Figure 1: number of slaves on an EtherCAT network ............................................................................. 4
Figure 2: EtherCAT physical media ......................................................................................................... 5
Figure 3: EtherCAT topologies ................................................................................................................ 5
Figure 4: internal port structure in ESC ................................................................................................... 6
Figure 5: physical link establishment ....................................................................................................... 7
Figure 6: port status and physical link ..................................................................................................... 7
Figure 7: EtherCAT frame routing ........................................................................................................... 8
Figure 8: on-the-fly processing in ESC .................................................................................................... 8
Figure 9: channel and end-to-end link structure .................................................................................... 10
Figure 10: several possible channel architectures ................................................................................ 12
Figure 11: physical meaning of IL and NEXT parameters .................................................................... 14
Figure 12: counting the number of connections .................................................................................... 15
Figure 13: difference between fixed and flexible cables ....................................................................... 21
Figure 14: proper termination of unused pairs within a device .............................................................. 22
Figure 15: recommended and discouraged shielding configurations .................................................... 24
Figure 16: minimum distance between communication and power cables ........................................... 28
Figure 17: minimum distance with metallic separation conduits ........................................................... 28
Figure 18: equipotential earthing scheme ............................................................................................. 29
Figure 19: star earthing scheme ............................................................................................................ 30
Figure 20: behaviour in case of active infrastructure component .......................................................... 32
Figure 21: integration of ESC within active infrastructural components ................................................ 33
Figure 22: crossing between communication and power cables........................................................... 35
Figure 23: avoiding loops in communication cables .............................................................................. 36
Figure 24: shield-to-earth connection options within a device .............................................................. 37
Figure 25: internal RC connection to earth within devices .................................................................... 37
Figure 26: measurement of shield earthing within devices ................................................................... 38
Figure 27: external earthing of the cable shield via cable clips ............................................................. 39
Figure 28: proper and improper size of cable clips ............................................................................... 39
Figure 29: proper and improper shield handling at earthing point ......................................................... 40
Figure 30: external earthing of the cable shield via metal foils ............................................................. 40
Figure 31: proper earthing of bulkhead feed-through connectors ......................................................... 41
Figure 32: maintaining the minimum bending radius of communication cables .................................... 42
Figure 33: protection of sharp edges along the path of communication cables .................................... 43
Figure 34: tensile forces acting on communication cables .................................................................... 43
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
V
Figure 35: protecting communication cables against tensile forces ...................................................... 44
Figure 36: proper and improper dimensioning of strain relief components ........................................... 44
Figure 37: torsional forces acting on communication cables ................................................................ 45
Figure 38: protect communication cables against crushing .................................................................. 45
Figure 39: connector pinout assignment for quad cables, according to ISO/IEC 61918 ...................... 46
Figure 40: cabling schemes for RJ45 connectors according to TIA-568-C ........................................... 50
Figure 41: badly assembled RJ45 connector ........................................................................................ 51
Figure 42: proper and improper connection of cable shield with connector housing ............................ 52
Figure 43: simple cable verification with a multimeter device ............................................................... 55
Figure 44: cable qualification with a function tester device ................................................................... 56
Figure 45: cable certification with an acceptance tester ....................................................................... 57
Figure 46: parameter measurement for infrastructural components ..................................................... 58
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
VI
ABBREVIATIONS
µC
ACR
ANSI
AWG
BN
BU
CP
CRC
DPRAM
EM
EN
ESC
ETG
GN
IEC
IL
ISO
LLF
LVDS
MAC
NEXT
NIC
OG
PHY
RJ45
RL
SC
TIA
TP
TQ
WH
YE
Microcontroller
Attenuation-to-crosstalk ratio
American National Standards Institute
American Wire Gauge
Brown
Blue
Communication Profile
Cyclic Redundancy Check
Dual-Ported RAM
Electro-magnetic
European standard
EtherCAT Slave Controller
EtherCAT Technology Group
Green
International Electrotechnical Commission
Insertion Loss
International Organization for Standardization
Link Lost Forwarding
Low Voltage Differential Signal
Media Access Controller
Near-end crosstalk
Network Interface Card
Orange
Physical Layer Chip
Registered Jack 45
Return Loss
Subscriber Connector
Telecommunications Industry Association
Twisted Pair
Twisted Quad
White
Yellow
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
VII
Foreword and Scope
1
Foreword and Scope
The selected communication technology has several advantages compared to the traditional fieldbuses
with passive wiring infrastructure, and proven on the field in a huge number of commercial and industrial
implementations. The recommended cabling improves the signal to noise ratio by an order of magnitude.
The better immunity to EM noise finds its explanation in the peer-to-peer relationship of the Ethernet
transmission technology, as well as in the use of shielded cables. These measures isolate errors on a
specific link and allow better adaption of the receiver to the sender. A permanent link monitoring helps
to detect erroneous components at runtime without delays.
EtherCAT components have link active indicators. Thus, a problem in the wiring can be quickly identified
even without specific tools. The master can make use of the error counters built in the EtherCAT Slaves
and react quickly to any deviation from normal behavior.
Hence, there is no need for expensive cable diagnostic or sophisticated test procedures in general. But
some measures can help to avoid problems caused by misconfiguration, errors in cable installation and
critical environmental conditions.
The information collected in this document guides to find the right tradeoff between additional effort and
enhanced reliability of a specific automation system in regards to cable installation.
This document is structured into four main sections, each with a specific scope:




EtherCAT Basics: provides a short description of technical features which are relevant for the
understanding of EtherCAT networks.
Planning: is intended to support engineers which plan an industrial communication network
based on the EtherCAT technology, with specific reference to international standards.
Assembling: is intended to support technicians which realize the EtherCAT communication
network based on a previous plan.
Commissioning: is intended to support technicians, as well as end users, which check the
correctness of an installation, or monitor the operation of an industrial communication network
based on the EtherCAT technology.
This document is not a specification, nor does it replace other ETG documents. It is intended to provide
practical information concerning the installation of an EtherCAT network, and it complements the ETG
specification documents.
This document does not claim to fully describe the EtherCAT technology. It describes those aspects
which may influence the network implementation or performances. For a complete information about
the EtherCAT technology, refer to the specifications and documents provided by the EtherCAT
Technology Group and which are related to the EtherCAT standard.
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
1
References
2
References
The following referenced documents are indispensable for the application of this document. For dated
references, only the edition cited applies. For undated references, the latest edition of the referenced
document (including any amendments) applies.
ETG Standards
[1] ETG.1000.2: Physical Layer service definition and protocol specification
[2] ETG.1000.3: Data Link Layer service definition
[3] ETG.1000.4: Data Link Layer protocol specification
[4] ETG.1000.5: Application Layer service definition
[5] ETG.1000.6: Application Layer protocol specification
Other References
[6] ISO/IEC 61918: Industrial communication networks – Installation of communication networks
in industrial premises
[7] ISO/IEC 61784-5-12: Industrial communication networks – Profiles – Part 5-12: Installation of
fieldbuses – Installation profiles for CPF 12
[8] ISO/IEC 11801: Information technology – Generic cabling for customer premises
[9] IEC 61076-2-101: Connectors for electronic equipment - Product requirements - Part 2-101:
Circular connectors - Detail specification for M12 connectors with screw-locking
[10] IEC 61754-4: Fibre optic interconnecting devices and passive components - Fibre optic
connector interfaces - Part 4: Type SC connector family
[11] IEC 61754-24: Fibre optic interconnecting devices and passive components - Fibre optic
connector interfaces - Part 24: Type SC-RJ connector family
[12] IEC 60603-7-3: Connectors for electronic equipment - Part 7-3: Detail specification for 8-way,
shielded, free and fixed connectors, for data transmission with frequencies up to 100 MHz
[13] EN50288-2-1: Multi-element metallic cables used in analogue and digital communication and
control - Part 2-1: Sectional specification for screened cables characterised up to 100 MHz Horizontal and building backbone cables
[14] EN50288-2-2: Multi-element metallic cables used in analogue and digital communication and
control - Part 2-2: Sectional specification for screened cables characterised up to 100 MHz Work area and patch cord cables
[15] EN60793-2-10: Optical fibres - Part 2-10: Product specifications - Sectional specification for
category A1 multimode fibre
[16] EN60793-2-50: Optical fibres - Part 2-50: Product specifications - Sectional specification for
class B single-mode fibres
[17] ANSI/TIA-568-C: Generic telecommunication cabling for customer premises
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
2
Terms, Definitions and Word Usage
3
3.1
Terms, Definitions and Word Usage
Terms and Definitions
The terms and definitions of ETG.1000 series shall be fully valid, unless otherwise stated.
3.2
Word usage: shall, should, may, can
The word shall is used to indicate mandatory requirements strictly to be followed in order to conform to
the standard and from which no deviation is permitted (shall equals is required to).
The word should is used to indicate that among several possibilities one is recommended as
particularly suitable, without mentioning or excluding others; or that a certain course of action is
preferred but not necessarily required; or that (in the negative form) a certain course of action is
deprecated but not prohibited (should equals is recommended that).
The word may is used to indicate a course of action permissible within the limits of the standard (may
equals is permitted to).
The word can is used for statements of possibility and capability, whether material, physical, or causal
(can equals is able to).
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
3
EtherCAT Basics
4
EtherCAT Basics
4.1
Network Configuration
An EtherCAT network consists of one master, and one or more slave devices.

On master side, standard network adapters can be used at hardware level

On slave side, low-level time-critical functionalities are implemented in a dedicated hardware
component called EtherCAT Slave Controller (ESC)
Slave devices are addressed by a 16-bit address field, therefore the number of slaves connected to the
EtherCAT network can theoretically reach 65535 devices (Figure 1).
Figure 1: number of slaves on an EtherCAT network
4.2
Physical Media
EtherCAT supports three different physical media:

100BASE-TX, 100 Mbit/s full-duplex transmission on copper cable (up to 100 m distances)

100BASE-FX, 100 Mbit/s full-duplex transmission on fiber optics (up to several km distances)

LVDS, 100 Mbit/s full-duplex transmission on backplane connections
There is no limitation in the number of changes of physical medium within the network (as shown in
Figure 2).
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
4
EtherCAT Basics
Figure 2: EtherCAT physical media
4.3
Topologies
EtherCAT allows to implement several topologies, like line, daisy-chain, star or tree (Figure 3).
Figure 3: EtherCAT topologies
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
5
EtherCAT Basics
Network performances like synchronization degree, propagation and processing delays, or minimum
cycle times, are independent from the specific topology scheme.
4.4
Link Detection and Frame Routing
ESCs internally support up to four communication ports, ringwise connected to each other (as shown in
Figure 4):
Figure 4: internal port structure in ESC
After a power-on or a reset, according to the existing connections between slaves, a port is opened if a
physical link to another device is detected, while it remains closed if no physical link is present: the
network topology is therefore automatically built-up by slave devices at hardware level.
A physical link between two devices can be considered as established when, despite all causes which
can corrupt the electrical signals (like attenuation, reflections, EMC disturbances), both devices are able
to correctly recover the received symbol sequences (Figure 5).
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
6
EtherCAT Basics
Figure 5: physical link establishment
All slave ports with removable connectors are mandatorily provided with link/activity (L/A) LEDs, which
describes the physical link status:

L/A LED off: no physical link is present

L/A LED on: physical link is present, but no network traffic

L/A LED flickering: physical link is present, with network traffic
Figure 6 shows two examples of the relation between hardware connections and link status in a slave
device.
Figure 6: port status and physical link
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
7
EtherCAT Basics
The internal ESC architecture ensures that, independently from the specific topology, the network
always operates according to a logical loop principle: frames sent by the master are routed from slave
to slave in a predefined order - determined only by the hardware connections among ports and without
any software addressing mechanism – and then return to the master, as shown in Figure 7.
Figure 7: EtherCAT frame routing
4.5
On-the-fly Processing
When propagating through ESCs, frames are processed “on-the-fly”: single bits or entire byte sequences
are dynamically extracted from, and inserted into the frames by the so-called EtherCAT Processing Unit
without the need to store and process the whole frame content (as shown in Figure 8). The hardware
propagation delays on the network are therefore not affected by the processing time of the software
stack. Typical values for the sum of propagation delays in both directions within each ESC are:

~ 1 µs, for slaves supporting at least one 100BASE-TX or 100BASE-FX port

~ 300 ns, for slaves supporting only LVDS ports
Figure 8: on-the-fly processing in ESC
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
8
Planning
5
Planning
Scope of planning of the communication infrastructure within a machine or plant should be to define in
advance all those implementation aspects which are recommended to ensure an error-free data
transmission between devices under all operating conditions. The result of the planning phase should
be a list of all the interconnections between devices. For each interconnection, all relevant aspects
should be reported, like desired cable routing, critical wiring aspects and a set of actions required to
ensure a certain communication quality level. Component lists, checklists and test plans could be an
additional output of the planning phase.
5.1
Environmental Conditions
For the planning of the communication infrastructure, a precise knowledge of the environmental
conditions in the machine or plant is required. Relevant aspects are:






Layout of the cabling, length, bending and cable type
Connectors, media converters and infrastructural components in the transmission path
Electromagnetic conditions, determined by the presence of power cables, motors, power
electronics, light sources, radio-frequency transmitters
Mechanical constrains like moving parts, rotating components, tension forces, vibrations,
shocks
Maximum and minimum operating temperature values
Chemical environment like presence of water, dust, or corrosive agents
It may be useful to classify some of the environmental conditions, for example with the help of the MICE
(Mechanical, Ingress, Climatic and Electromagnetic) model described in the IEC 61918 standard. These
environmental conditions should be kept in mind during the whole planning process, as they will
influence the component choice as well as the cable routing or the adoption of measures to ensure
transmission quality.
Examples of specific actions which could be performed during the planning phase, according to the
specific environmental conditions, are the following :











5.2
Check the total length of the cable traces
Recognize critical EM environments, and plan adequate protection accordingly
Check the allowed temperature range of all components (including cables) against the
environmental conditions
Select the appropriate IP protection level for devices
Select the appropriate IP protection level for connectors
Use adequate cable entry systems to protect against dust, dirt and liquids.
Check suitable protection against dangerous liquids.
Avoid cable mechanical stress which would be outside the maximum tolerated values, and plan
adequate protection accordingly
Provide absorption of vibrations whenever possible
In case of outdoor applications, consider the use of UV-resistant cables or protection shields
In case of underground traces or moving parts, consider the use of specifically designed cables
Topology Definition and Device Positioning
As described in Subclause 4.3, the performances of an EtherCAT network are not influenced by the
specific network topology adopted.
There is no limitation, for example, in the number of devices which can be cascaded in a line or daisychain topology. The only remark concerning line or daisy-chain topologies is that, if a device is poweredoff or disconnected from the network and no cable redundancy is supported, the downstream devices
will also no more be reached by frames: in case the application requires slaves, or groups of slaves, to
be powered off or disconnected independently from the rest of the network, a star topology should
therefore be preferred.
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
9
Planning
For this reasons, the network topology should be uniquely planned with the aim of minimizing the length
of communication cables, compatibly with those requirements which are necessary to guarantee an
error-free communication (like keeping a suitable distance from EM noise sources or protecting cables
against mechanical damage or chemical agents).
The device positioning and commissioning should always be performed according to the specific
information and mounting rules provided by device manufacturers, and according to the specific
environmental conditions as described in Subclause 5.1.
5.3
Channel Dimensioning
In addition to environmental conditions, the performance of hardware connections between devices can
be influenced by factors like:

Cable quality (attenuation, number of conductors, crosstalk, shielding)

Connector quality (correct pinout assignment, proper connection to cable shield)

Intermediate connections (number of intermediate transitions, attenuation)
These aspects can be evaluated and properly taken into account during the planning phase thanks to
the concept of structured cabling, as described in the ISO/IEC 11801 specification. The scope of
structured cabling is to define a standard, application-independent model for the hardware connection
between two network devices. According to the maximum communication bit-rate that shall be
supported, several link performance classes can be defined. Each class is described in terms of the
physical link parameters, and defines for them worst-case corner values which should ensure an errorfree data transmission under all operating conditions.
The structured cabling model defined in the ISO/IEC 11801 specification is based on the concepts of
“channel” and “end-to-end link”, as described in Figure 9:
Figure 9: channel and end-to-end link structure
In this model:

J are the jacks in the end devices

P the plugs at the connection ends

C the intermediate connectors.
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
10
Planning
The “end-to-end link” concept includes the two plugs at the connection ends (yet not the jacks of the
end devices), while the “channel” concept does not include them.
According to the channel model, cables employed in the connection between two end devices can be
distinguished into:

Permanent link, the main cable span between two end devices, installed either within or outside
the cabinet

(Patch) cords, typically short cable sections used within a cabinet between end devices and
intermediate connection points (like bulkhead feed-through connectors).
The ISO/IEC 61918 specification applies the generic channel model defined in the ISO/IEC 11801 to
industrial communication networks, while the ISO/IEC 61784-5-12 profile defines the EtherCAT
requirements to this model.
5.3.1
Channel Parameters for 100BASE-TX Link
Table 1: parameters for copper channel
Characteristics
Value
Supported data rates (Mbit/s)
100
Supported max. channel length (m)
100
Number of connections in the channel (max.)
6
Channel class per ISO/IEC 24702 (min.)
D
Cable category per ISO/IEC 24702 (min.)
5
Connecting HW category per ISO/IEC 24702 (min.)
5
The ISO/IEC 11801 specification defines mathematical rules for a precise calculation of the maximum
channel length as a function of the number of intermediate connections and of copper cable physical
parameters. In the planning of EtherCAT networks, the following simplified rules can be used:

The overall length of the communication channel (sum of the lengths of permanent link and
patch cords) should not exceed 100 m.

The overall length of patch cords at each channel end should not exceed 5 meters, and the
length of the permanent link should be reduced accordingly (in order to guarantee a maximum
total length of 100 m for the channel).

The maximum number of connections in the channel should be 6 (when counting also the
connectors at channel ends) or 4 (when counting intermediate connectors only).

In any case, the channel length should be kept as short as possible compatibly with the existing
environmental constraints
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
11
Planning
Figure 10 shows different examples of channel architectures:
Figure 10: several possible channel architectures
The dimensioning rules reported above refer to a communication channel in non-critical environmental
conditions. In case of channel installation in an environment with high EM disturbances, the channel
length should be limited accordingly.
According to the ISO/IEC 61784-5-12 profile, in case of 100BASE-TX copper physical medium
EtherCAT requires a Class D channel (or higher). The ISO/IEC 11801 specification defines the worstcase corner values for the hardware parameters which guarantee compliance with a Class D channel.
A selection of the most relevant among these parameters is described in Table 2.
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
12
Planning
Table 2: Reference parameters for a Class D channel of 100m length
Parameter
Meaning
Permanent link
(@100 MHz)
Channel
(@100 MHz)
IL
Insertion Loss, Attenuation
20,4 dB
24 dB
NEXT
Near-end crosstalk
32,3 dB
30,1 dB
ACR
Attenuation-to-crosstalk ratio
11,9 dB
6,1 dB
Propagation delay
0,491 µs
0,548 µs
Delay skew
0,044 µs
0,050 µs
The most relevant channel parameters to be considered during the planning phase are Insertion Loss
(IL), Near-end crosstalk (NEXT) and Attenuation-to-crosstalk ratio (ACR).

The Insertion Loss is a measure, expressed in dB, of the signal attenuation introduced by the
communication channel. The larger the absolute value of IL, the greater the signal portion which
is lost during the propagation. For example, a value of 20 dB for the IL means that only 10 % of
the transmitted differential voltage reaches the receiver. Vice-versa, smaller values for the IL
parameter indicate less attenuation and are therefore index of better performances

The Near-end crosstalk is a measure, expressed in dB, of the influence which the signal
transmitted on a twisted pair can have on neighbor pairs. The smaller the absolute value of
NEXT, the greater portion of the transmitted signal which appears as induced disturbance on
neighbor pairs. For example, a value of 32 dB for the NEXT means that 2,5 % of the differential
voltage transmitted on one twisted pair will be received on a neighbor pair and will therefore
result in a disturbance. Vice-versa, higher values for the NEXT parameter indicate less crosstalk
and are therefore index of better performances.

The ACR parameter is a measure, expressed in dB, of the channel Signal-to-Noise-Ratio, and
is calculated as difference of the (logarithmic) values of IL and NEXT. For example, a value of
6 dB for the ACR means that the attenuated portion of signal received on one twisted pair will
be 50% greater than the crosstalk disturbance induced by a signal transmitted with same
amplitude on a neighbor pair.
It is important to notice that the values reported in Table 2 refer to the transmission frequency of 100
MHz. As a 100BASE-TX data throughput is transmitted with 4B/5B MLT3 multilevel encoding, the
hardware signal will actually have a maximum frequency of 31,25 MHz, and the parameter values at
this operating frequency will be about 3-5 times better than those specified at 100 MHz.
The physical meaning of IL and NEXT parameters is described in Figure 11.
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
13
Planning
b
Figure 11: physical meaning of IL and NEXT parameters
Component manufacturers (cables, connectors …) can certify their products for a specific performance
class according to the ISO/IEC 11801 specification. The use of components certified for performance
Class D (or higher) is mandatory within EtherCAT networks, but it does not automatically guarantee that
the channel will be compliant with the same performance class as well. The compliance of the
communication channel with performance Class D should be determined on the basis of the parameter
values provided by the manufacturers of all components involved in the channel. In case the parameter
values are nor known for all the components employed in the connection, the channel compliance to
performance Class D (or higher) should be explicitly verified by means of suitable measurements, as
described in Subclause 7.2.
Each connection introduces additional attenuation and crosstalk in the channel. The number of
intermediate connections should therefore be reduced as much as possible compatibly with the
application requirements, and without exceeding in any case the maximum allowed number described
in Subclause 5.3.1.
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Planning
When determining the number of connections, double couplers shall be counted as two separate
connections (as shown in Figure 12):
Figure 12: counting the number of connections
Although recommended, the planning of network connections according to the structured cabling model
described in the ISO/IEC 11801 specification is not strictly mandatory. Connections which are not based
on the rules of structured cabling are defined as application-specific cabling: in this case, channel
performances and error-free transmission under all operating conditions should be explicitly verified by
means of suitable measurements, as described in Subclause 7.2.
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Planning
5.3.2
Channel Parameters for 100BASE-FX Link
Table 3: reference parameters for fiber optic channel
Optical fibre type
Single mode silica
Description
Standard
IEC 60793-2-50; Type B1
Nominal transmission wavelength λ
1310 nm
Attenuation coefficient at λ
≤ 0,5 dB/km
Cut off wavelength
< 1260 nm
Alternative description
Multimode silica
Mode field diameter (µm)
9…10
Cladding diameter (µm)
125
Minimum length (m)
0
Maximum length (m)
14000
Standard
IEC 60793-2-10; Type A1a, A1b
Nominal transmission wavelength λ
1310 nm
Attenuation coefficient at λ
≤ 1,5 dB/km
Modal bandwidth at λ
600 MHz x km
Alternative description
Core diameter (µm)
60 (A1a); 62,5 (A1b)
Cladding diameter (µm)
125
Numerical aperture
0,20 ± 0,02 or 0,23 ± 0,02
at 50/125
0,275 ± 0,02 at 62,5/125
Minimum length (m)
0
Maximum length (m)
2000
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Planning
Optical fibre type
POF
Description
Standard
IEC 60793-2-40; Type A4a
Nominal transmission wavelength λ
650 nm
Attenuation coefficient at λ
≤ 160 dB/km
Modal bandwidth at λ
35 MHz x 100m
Alternative description
Plastic clad silica
Core diameter (µm)
980
Cladding diameter (µm)
1000
Numerical aperture
0,5 ± 0,05
Minimum length (m)
0
Maximum length (m)
50
Standard
IEC 60793-2-30; Type A3c
Nominal transmission wavelength λ
650 nm
Attenuation coefficient at λ
≤ 10 dB/km
Modal bandwidth at λ
70 MHz x km
Alternative description
Core diameter (µm)
200
Cladding diameter (µm)
230
Numerical aperture
0,37 ± 0,04
Minimum length (m)
0
Maximum length (m)
100
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Planning
5.4
Cable Selection
The IEC 61784-5-12 profile describes the cable types which are suggested for EtherCAT applications.
These cable types are further specified in the following documents:

EN50288-2-1, for fixed copper cables

EN50288-2-2, for flexible copper cables

EN60793-2-10, for multimode optical fibers

EN60793-2-50, for single mode optical fibers
The IEC 61784-5-12 profile specifies the worst-case corner values for the cable parameters which
should not be exceeded within an EtherCAT channel.
In the planning phase, cable selection should always be done referring to the measured parameters
provided by the cable manufacturer.
In case of connections between devices moving with respect to each other, flexible cables should be
used in order to prevent cable damage. In this case, parameters like maximum permissible bending
radius, as well as maximum tolerated tensile and torsional forces, should be carefully verified to be
compliant with the application requirements, as described in Subclause 6.3.
In case of connections installed in chemically aggressive environments, cables with suitable special
coating should be used in order to prevent cable damage.
In case of additional environmental constraints in the application, specifically designed cables should
be used according to the specific information provided by the cable manufacturer.
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Planning
5.4.1
Cables for 100BASE-TX Link
For the permanent link, cables should be compliant with the worst-case corner values described in Table
4 and Table 5:
Table 4: reference parameters for fixed cables used for permanent link
Characteristics
Type A cable (fixed)
Nominal impedence of cable (tolerance)
100 Ω ± 15 Ω (IEC 61156-5)
Balanced or unbalanced
Balanced
DC round-trip resistance a
≤ 115 Ω/km
Number of conductors
4 (2 pairs)
Shielding
S/FTQ
Colour code for conductor
WH, YE, BU, OG
Transfer impedance
< 50 mΩ/m at 10 MHz
Installation Type
Stationary, no movement after
installation
Outer cable diameter
6,5 mm ± 0,2 mm
Wire cross section
AWG 22/1
Wire diameter (without insulation)
0,64 mm ± 0,1 mm
Delay skew
≤ 20 ns/100 m
a The DC round-trip resistance (also called DC loop resistance) is calculated by measuring the
cable DC resistance going both ways, that is connecting the two pair wires on one side of the cable
and measuring the resistance between the same wires on the other side. If the resistance is
measured between the two cable ends for one single wire, the values obtained will be about the half
of those obtained for round-trip resistance, and therefore also the corresponding reference value
should be considered ≤ 57,5 Ω/km.
Refer to vendor cable specification for additional information.
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Planning
Table 5: reference parameters for flexible cables used for permanent link
Characteristics
Type B cable (flexible)
Nominal impedence of cable (tolerance)
100 Ω ± 15 Ω (IEC 61156-5)
Balanced or unbalanced
Balanced
DC round-trip resistance a
≤ 115 Ω/km
Number of conductors
4 (2 pairs)
Shielding
S/FTQ
Colour code for conductor
WH, YE, BU, OG
Transfer impedance
< 50 mΩ/m at 10 MHz
Installation Type
Flexible, occasional movement or
vibration
Outer cable diameter
6,5 mm ± 0,2 mm
Wire cross section
AWG 22/7
Wire diameter (without insulation)
0,64 mm ± 0,1 mm
Delay skew
≤ 20 ns/100 m
a The DC round-trip resistance (also called DC loop resistance) is calculated by measuring the
cable DC resistance going both ways, that is connecting the two pair wires on one side of the cable
and measuring the resistance between the same wires on the other side. If the resistance is
measured between the two cable ends for one single wire, the values obtained will be about the half
of those obtained for round-trip resistance, and therefore also the corresponding reference value
should be considered ≤ 57,5 Ω/km.
Refer to vendor cable specification for additional information.
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Planning
In fixed cables each wire consists of a massive conductor, while in flexible cables wires consist of several
twisted conductors with smaller section (as shown in Figure 13).
Figure 13: difference between fixed and flexible cables
Parameter values (like for example the Insertion Loss) measured for flexible cables are typically worse
than those of fixed solid cables. The use of flexible cables should therefore be limited to scenarios where
it is strictly needed, like in case of connections between devices moving with respect to each other.
Otherwise, fixed solid cables should be used.
Table 6 reports typical parameter values for a real cable successfully used in EtherCAT applications:
Table 6: example of cable used for permanent link
Fixed
Flexible
Type
AWG22/1
AWG22/7
Shielding
S/FTQ
S/FTQ
Round-trip resistance
≤ 115 Ω/km
≤ 115 Ω/km
19,5 dB/100m
21,3 dB/100m
50 dB/100m
50 dB/100m
Insertion Loss
(@100MHz)
Near-end crosstalk
(@100MHz)
Only four wires are used by EtherCAT communication, therefore the use of quad (two-pair) balanced
Ethernet cables is recommended.
Four-pair cables can also be used, provided that their performances in terms of IL and NEXT are
comparable to those of quad cables and do not exceed the worst-case corner values reported in Table
4 and Table 5: the presence of additional unused pairs - especially if these are not properly terminated
in the two end devices - could in fact increase signal crosstalk between neighbor pairs and therefore
reduce the cable performances.
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Planning
Indication for device manufacturers
EtherCAT device manufacturers are encouraged to terminate unused pairs with 75 Ω resistors, which
should be connected to the virtual ground, as shown in Figure 14.
Figure 14: proper termination of unused pairs within a device
In case of four-pair cables, the recommended connector pin assignment is the one defined as T568B in
the TIA-568-C specification at both cable ends, which implies a straight cable structure. Nevertheless,
all slave hardware interfaces mandatorily support auto-crossover capability, therefore straight cables
with pin assignment corresponding to T568A at both cable ends, as well as cross cables, can also be
used within EtherCAT networks.
An exception concerning this aspect is represented by slaves supporting the Fast Hot-Connect
technology. In this case – in order to reduce the time required for the connection establishment – the
hardware interface parameters like transmission rate, duplex mode and straight/cross connection are
preset and will not negotiated (IN-ports uses MDI-setting, the OUT-ports MDI-X). For this reason, the
use of straight cables in conjunction with the Fast Hot-Connect technology is mandatory
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Planning
The ISO/IEC 11801 specification defines a standardized coding for the shielding scheme of Ethernet
copper cables:
xx/yTQ
TQ = Twisted Quad (two-pairs)
or
xx/yTP
TP = Twisted Pair (four-pairs)
Where:
xx = external cable shielding

U = unshielded

F = foil shielding

S = stranded shielding

SF = stranded + foil shielding
y = additional cable shielding (for quad cables) / pair shielding (for twisted pair cables)

U = unshielded

F = foil shielding

S = stranded shielding
Table 7 reports some shield coding examples:
Table 7: examples of cable shield coding
ISO/IEC 11801 code
Type
Cable shielding
Additional/pair shielding
U/UTQ
twisted quad
none
none
U/UTP
twisted pair
none
none
S/UTQ
twisted quad
stranded
none
S/UTP
twisted pair
stranded
none
SF/UTP
twisted pair
stranded + foil
none
S/FTQ
twisted quad
stranded
foil
U/FTP
twisted pair
none
foil
S/FTP
twisted pair
stranded
foil
SF/FTP
twisted pair
stranded + foil
foil
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Planning
EtherCAT recommends the use of at least externally shielded cables, both for the permanent link and
for patch cords (as shown in Figure 15).
The stranded solution should be preferred for the external cable shielding, as it provides higher
mechanical robustness. When using externally foil-shielded cables, particular care should be paid not
to damage or to interrupt the shield itself.
Figure 15: recommended and discouraged shielding configurations
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Planning
Concerning cable diameter, the American Wire Gauge (AWG) standard defines the following coding
rule:
AWGx/y
Where:
x = AWG category (increasing with decreasing conductor diameter)
y = number of wires forming the conductor
Table 8 reports some AWG coding examples:
Table 8: correspondence between conductor diameter and AWG coding
AWG coding
Wire structure
AWG 20
AWG20/1
massive
AWG20/7
7x0.320 mm
AWG20/10
10x0.254 mm
AWG 22
AWG22/1
massive
AWG22/7
7x0.254 mm
AWG22/19
19x0.160 mm
AWG 24
AWG24/1
massive
AWG24/7
7x0.203 mm
AWG24/10
10x0.160 mm
AWG26
AWG26/1
Massive
AWG26/7
7x0.160 mm
AWG26/10
10x0.127 mm
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Planning
The smaller the AWG coding number, the larger the diameter of the conductors, and therefore the
smaller the signal attenuation for a given cable length.
For the permanent link, it is highly recommended to use cables with diameter AWG22 or larger (i.e.
described by smaller AWG coding numbers). Cables with smaller diameter values (like AWG24 or
AWG26) should not be used for long connections outside cabinets.
For short connections within cabinets, patch cables with smaller diameters like AWG24 or AWG26 can
also be used. Cables with such smaller diameters are characterized by higher resistance values and
higher signal attenuation. In the planning phase, hardware parameters for cables with conductor
diameter smaller than AWG22, either provided by cable manufacturers or directly measured as
described in Subclause 7.2, should be carefully evaluated, as they could limit the overall channel length
to distances significantly shorter than 100 m due to the higher attenuation value.
5.4.2
Cables for 100BASE-FX Link
Table 9: reference parameters for fiber optic cables
Characteristics
9..10/125 µm
single mode
silica
50/125 µm
multimode
silica
62,5/125 µm
multimode
silica
980/1000 µm
step index
POF
200/230 µm
step index
hard clad
silica
Attenuation per km
(650 nm)
-
-
-
≤ 160 dB/km
≤ 10 dB/km
Attenuation per km
(820 nm)
-
-
-
-
-
Attenuation per km
(1300 nm)
≤ 0,5 dB/km
≤ 1,5 dB/km
≤ 1,5 dB/km
-
-
2
2
2
2
2
Yes
Yes
Yes
Number of optical
fibres
Connector type
(duplex or simplex)
Jacket colour
requirements
-
Jacket materials
-
Resistance to
harsh environment
(e.g. UV, oil resist,
LS0H)
Breakout
Application dependent
Yes
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Planning
5.5
Connector Selection
The IEC 61784-5-12 profile describes the standard connector types suggested for EtherCAT
applications. These connector types are further specified in the following documents:

IEC 60603-7-3, for RJ45 shielded connectors (copper cables)

IEC 61076-2-101, for M12 connectors (copper cables)

IEC 61754-4, for SC connectors (optical fibers)

IEC 61754-24, for SC-RJ connectors (optical fibers)
In the planning phase, the connector selection should always be performed referring to the measured
constructive parameters provided by the connector manufacturer.
The connector selection should take into account the specific mechanical constrains of the application,
in order to prevent permanent damage of cables and connectors themselves.
In case of links installed in chemically aggressive environments, suitable special connectors should be
used in order to prevent damage of the cable and of the connector itself.
Table 10: standard connectors for copper cables
(shielded)
Yes (IEC 60603-7-3)
(unshielded)
No
M12
Yes
IEC 60603-7-x a
IEC 61076-2-101
a For IEC 60603-7-x,
the connector section is
based on channel
performance
Table 11: standard connectors for fiber optic cables
CP 12/1, CP 12/2
(EtherCAT)
IEC 61754-2
BFOC/2,5
No
IEC 61754-4
SC
Yes
IEC 61754-24
SC-RJ
Yes
IEC 61754-20
LC
No
IEC 61754-22
F-SMA
No
Others
IEC 61754 series defines
the optical fibre connector
mechanical interfaces;
performance
specifications for optical
fibre connectors
terminated to specific
fibre types are
standardized in the IEC
61753 series.
No
The IEC 61784-5-12 profile refers to standard connector types (as reported in Table 10 and Table 11).
Other connector types can be used (like M8 connectors instead of M12 in case of space constraints in
an IP67 environment). When using connector types different from those described in the
IEC 61784-5-12 profile, the compliance to performance Class D (or higher) under all operating
conditions should be carefully evaluated according to the hardware parameters provided by the
connector manufacturer. In case, the compliance to performance Class D (or higher) should be directly
evaluated by means of suitable measurements, as described in Subclause 7.2.
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Planning
5.6
Cable Separation
In order to prevent EM disturbances to corrupt the signals and therefore affect the communication
performances, the network planning should always guarantee a suitable separation of communication
cables from other cable types, and especially from power cables like supply lines or motor connections
(as described in Figure 16).
Figure 16: minimum distance between communication and power cables
In order to improve the immunity to EM disturbances and to reduce the minimum permissible distance
from power lines, EtherCAT cables can be routed through metallic enclosures or conduits as shown in
Figure 17.
Figure 17: minimum distance with metallic separation conduits
Table 12 reports the minimum distances which should be observed between EtherCAT shielded cables
and power cables, for several possible metallic separation types:
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Planning
Table 12: reference values for minimum distance between communication and power cables
5.7
Type of separation
Minimum distance
Without metallic
separation
10 mm
Open metallic cable
conduit
8 mm
Perforated metal plate
conduit
5 mm
Bulky cable conduit
0 mm
Earthing and Grounding
In order to provide the highest immunity against EM disturbances as well as undesired noise, all the
electronic components and chassis enclosures or metallic pathways within the machine or plant should
be kept at the same reference potential by means of suitable earthing connections.
According to the ISO/IEC 61918 specification, two earthing schemes have proven to be effective in the
industrial environment: equipotential and star.
5.7.1
Equipotential Earthing
In the equipotential earthing, devices chassis and pathways are connected wherever possible to the
building metallic structure, which is in turn connected to the functional earth (Figure 18). This forms a
mesh providing the same reference potential to all EtherCAT devices and infrastructure components.
Figure 18: equipotential earthing scheme
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Planning
5.7.2
Star Earthing
In case medium or high currents are generated within the application, earth paths would form current
loops which could in turn determine potential differences among network devices. In this case, a star
connection to a single point which is in turn connected to the functional earth could represent a more
effective earthing solution (Figure 19).
Figure 19: star earthing scheme
The connection of device chassis and metallic pathways to earth should be performed through
specifically dedicated wires with the appropriate coloring scheme according to the different national
standards. In order for the earthing system to provide efficient rejection of EM disturbances and
undesired noise, the impedence between each device or metal chassis and the functional earth should
be as low as possible, typically lower than 0,6 Ω and in any case lower than 1 Ω.
As the overall resistance of a wire is proportional to its length, earthing wires should always be kept as
short as possible.
The overall resistance of a wire is also proportional to its cross-section. Table 13 shows the relationship
between the cross-sectional area of an earthing wire and its maximum length which will ensure a
resistance of 0,6 Ω, suitable to provide an adequate earthing effect.
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Planning
Table 13: relation between cross section and length of earthing wires
Maximum length a
Cross-sectional areas
IEC 602228
AWG
(a)
8,36 (8 AWG)
291 m
10 mm2
349 m
10,5 (7 AWG)
368 m
13,3 (6 AWG)
461 m
16 mm2
556 m
16,8 (5 AWG)
582 m
21,1 (4 AWG)
736 m
25 mm2
870 m
a Length of a conductor having a resistance R = 0,6 Ω
The maximum lengths reported in Table 13 should be considered as best-case values, as devices
typically show an impedance between the local earth and the RJ45 connector, and the RJ45 connector
may have an own impedance as well. Depending on the environmental conditions, the earthing should
be improved or additional external earth to shield connections may be necessary, as described in
Subclause 7.2.
5.8
Selection of Infrastructural Components
The use of infrastructural components which are not slave devices should be carefully evaluated, as it
could impact on the network performances or even completely prevent the EtherCAT functional principle
introduced in Subclause 5.4.
As described in Clause 5, ESCs support routing capabilities, and they can implement all possible
topologies. External routing components like switches are therefore not needed to realize star or tree
topology architectures, and they can only degrade the network performances in terms of propagation
delays, communication jitter and proper routing order of EtherCAT frames. The use of switches within
EtherCAT networks is therefore highly discouraged and should be avoided.
Infrastructural components should be certified for performance Class D (or higher) under all operating
conditions, as well as against ageing. Each channel including infrastructural components should be
tested by means of suitable measurements as described in Subclause 7.2, and the EtherCAT-specific
diagnostic information described in Subclause 7.4 should always be evaluated during the
commissioning phase in order to verify that no frames are lost, and that the signals are not corrupted by
the infrastructural components themselves.
Some infrastructural components like slip rings, media converters or others are active devices, that is
they regenerate the EtherCAT signal. When such components are inserted between two EtherCAT
devices, the connection between the upstream and the downstream device is divided into two different
channels, with independent physical link detection and establishment, which are not terminated by an
ESC at each end. If the physical link between the infrastructural component and the downstream device
is interrupted, the link between the upstream device and the infrastructural component could remain
active: in this case, the upstream slave will keep its port open causing loss of frames (Figure 20), as the
infrastructural component does not internally support the capability to close the EtherCAT logical loop.
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Planning
Figure 20: behaviour in case of active infrastructure component
Active infrastructural components used in EtherCAT networks should therefore support mechanisms
ensuring that, if the hardware connection between the intermediate component and the downstream
slave is interrupted, the intermediate component will close the link with the upstream slave as well,
forcing in turn the upstream slave to close its port and the EtherCAT logical loop with it, thereby
preventing from frame loss. This behaviour for active infrastructural components can be obtained, for
example, by means of dedicated mechanisms like Link Lost Forwarding (LLF) or others.
In order to provide a reliable link management, as well as advanced diagnostic capabilities,
manufacturers of infrastructural active components which are intended to be used in EtherCAT networks
are encouraged to integrate an ESC in their devices. The ESC should be located immediately after the
upstream PHY, and would always ensure the preservation of the EtherCAT logical loop in case of link
interruption, as well as the prevention of frame losses.
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Planning
Indication for device manufacturers
The correct link management for active infrastructural components described above can be obtained,
for example, through the implementation of mechanisms like Link Lost Forwarding (LLF) or similar.
Another possible solution, which would provide more extensive diagnostic information in addition to
a correct management of the physical links in case of interruption of the downstream connection,
would be to integrate an EtherCAT Slave Controller within the active infrastructural component
(Figure 21).
Figure 21: integration of ESC within active infrastructural components
5.9
Selection of EtherCAT Slave Devices
The product spectrum of EtherCAT devices is very wide, therefore end users can select the components
which best fit their requirement within a large variety of available devices. The ETG website provides a
Product Guide (https://www.ethercat.org/en/products.html), which offers an overview of technical
characteristics for several products available on the market, as well as links to more detailed information
provided by the device manufacturer. It should in any case be remarked that the list of devices reported
in the ETG website is not exhaustive, nor it represents a quality criterion for the components.
All EtherCAT slave manufacturers are mandatorily required to test their devices with the official
Conformance Test Tool, in order to guarantee the compliance with the main aspects of the EtherCAT
specification as well as the interoperability with other devices.
In addition, EtherCAT devices can be tested and certified by external EtherCAT Test Centers. This test
is highly encouraged to ensure an even higher degree of compatibility and interoperability.
The mounting and commissioning of EtherCAT devices should always be performed according to the
information provided by device manufacturers.
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Planning
5.10 Additional Tasks in the Planning Phase
Scope of the planning phase should also be to reduce the overall operational costs of a machine or
caused by maintenance or unexpected failures. Minimizing the installation and material costs should not
be the primary goal when planning the cabling infrastructure, as communication is the backbone of an
automation system.
The present guideline describes reasonable measures which can be adopted during the planning phase
with limited additional costs, yet which can produce significant advantages in terms of money and time
saving in the life cycle of the machine or plant.
Some of the aspects are more critical than other ones and thus, a good knowledge of the conditions
around the automation system is very helpful. Table 14 reports some of the additional tasks which could
be included into the planning phase.
Table 14: possible additional tasks in the planning phase
Recommendation
Comment
Define a reliability level for the cabling
and/or determine a total cabling cost
target.
The awareness increases if there is an economic
goal for keeping the cost of cabling really low.
Evaluate critical paths
Most of the cabling has no problems but some areas
can cause problems. The main focus should be on
cabling hot spots.
High quality cables and connectors
recommended
Replacement of cables is expensive.
Try to keep environmental temperature
of components low.
The increase of temperature has negative effects for
electronics but also some impact on data
transmission.
Plan a cable inspection.
A visual inspection can identify problems, and some
resistance measurement can help to identify
problems
Ensure short repair time in case of errors
The repair time is an important element of availability
and requires spare parts and well trained
maintenance staff
Documentation of network structure
Documentation (including length, cable types) helps
to identify errors during operation.
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Assembling
6
6.1
Assembling
General Procedures for Assembling
The basic information concerning cable routing of Clause 5 applies. Refer to Subclauses 5.6 “Cable
separation” and 5.7 “Earthing and Grounding”.
The assembly should be done by experienced technicians and they should follow the cabling plan.
6.2
Electromagnetic Protection
As described in Subclause 5.6, communication cables should be always laid with a minimum separation
from other cable types and especially from power cables.
In case communication cables must cross power lines, this should always take place at a 90° angle, as
shown in Figure 22.
Figure 22: crossing between communication and power cables
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Assembling
Coils in the communication cables should be avoided, as they represent large areas where EM
disturbances can be introduced into the network and severely affect the communication performances
(Figure 23).
Figure 23: avoiding loops in communication cables
As only shielded cables should be used within EtherCAT networks, particular care should be paid to the
earthing of cable shields, in order to minimize noise and disturbances within the communication system.
The cable shield should be connected to earth at both channel ends, and the two end devices should
be always at the same reference potential as described in Subclause 5.7.
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Assembling
Indication for device manufacturers
Slave manufacturers are encouraged to properly connect the cable shield to earth within their devices
(Figure 24). A RC connection is suggested (Figure 25). In case this is not possible, a direct connection
should be provided.
Figure 24: shield-to-earth connection options within a device
Figure 25: internal RC connection to earth within devices
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Assembling
As a connection between the cable shield and the local earth is typically provided internally by EtherCAT
slave devices, an additional external connection of the shield to earth at cable end is generally not
required. Please refer to the mounting instructions of slave devices for specific indications concerning
the external shield connection to earth.
The specific earthing method used in each slave device can be checked after installation by measuring
the impedance value between the metallic part of the connector and the local earth (as shown in Figure
26).
Figure 26: measurement of shield earthing within devices
The result of this measurement can be one of the following:

Very high impedance values (in the order of magnitude of MΩ). In this case, the cable shield is
most probably earthed within the device via an RC connection.

Very low impedance values (lower than 1 Ω). In this case, the cable shield is most probably
earthed within the device via direct connection.

Open circuit. In this case, the cable shield is most probably not earthed within the device at all.
In case of direct internal connection of the cable shield to earth with relatively high impedance values
(1 Ω or greater), if the cable shield is not internally connected to the local earth at all, or in any case if
the diagnostic information collected during the commissioning phase (as described in Subclause 7.4)
detects hardware communication errors, an external connection of the cable shield to the local earth
ETG.1600 Installation Guidelines
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Assembling
could be added in order to improve immunity to noise and equalizing currents by using specifically
intended cable clips (as shown in Figure 27):
Figure 27: external earthing of the cable shield via cable clips
When using cable clips, the following rules should be observed:
a) The path to earth should guarantee a very low impedance (0.1 Ω or smaller).
b) The cable clips should exactly fit with the cable diameter: if too tight, cable clips could
mechanically damage the cable; if too loose, they could introduce additional noise into the
system (Figure 28).
Figure 28: proper and improper size of cable clips
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Assembling
c) The cable should shall not be damaged or interrupted when stripping the outer cable jacket,
otherwise the EM barrier provided by the shield would be interrupted (Figure 29).
Figure 29: proper and improper shield handling at earthing point
d) Cable clips for shield earthing connection should not be used for strain relief. Dedicated strain
relief components should be used for this purpose, as described in Subclause 6.3.
As an alternative to cable clips, perforated metal plate foils directly providing a low impedance path
(0.1 Ω or smaller) between the metallic connector of the communication cable to the local earth could
be used, as shown in Figure 30.
Figure 30: external earthing of the cable shield via metal foils
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Assembling
In case bulkhead feed-through connectors are used to provide access to a cabinet, these should also
have the lowest possible impedance path (0.1 Ω or smaller) to earth. In order to obtain this, a suitably
large contact area between the metallic parts of feed-through connectors and cabinet should be
provided, in case removing part of the cabinet painted coating.
Figure 31: proper earthing of bulkhead feed-through connectors
6.3
Mechanical Protection
Communication cables cannot be arbitrarily bent. Excessive bending could permanently damage the
cable wires and the protecting shield, seriously affecting the communication performances. During
installation, the minimum bending radius declared by the specific cable manufacturer should always be
observed. As a rule of thumb, for a fixed backbone cable a minimum bending radius of 8÷10 times the
cable diameter should be guaranteed (ad described in the TIA-568-C specification).
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Assembling
In order to prevent the communication cables from excessive bending, specific mechanical aids can be
used (as shown in Figure 32):
Figure 32: maintaining the minimum bending radius of communication cables
Sharp edges can be particularly dangerous for the cable integrity, especially in case of parts moving
with respect to each other. Therefore, sharp edges should be smoothed or provided with specific
protections (as shown in Figure 33), in order to prevent cables from being damaged.
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Assembling
Figure 33: protection of sharp edges along the path of communication cables
Tensile forces (described in Figure 34) could also represent a risk for the cable integrity. During
installation, it should always be guaranteed that the tensile forces suffered by communication cables
never exceed the maximum allowed value specified by the cable manufacturer. As a rule of thumb, for
a fixed backbone cable a maximum tensile force of 110 N should not be exceeded (ad described in the
TIA-568-C specification).
Figure 34: tensile forces acting on communication cables
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Assembling
In case tensile forces could exceed the maximum allowed value specified by the cable manufacturer in
some or all operating conditions, strain relief aids should be used (as shown in Figure 35). Strain relief
clips should be placed at a suitable distance from the nearest cable connector which prevents the cable
from exceeding its maximum bending radius (according to the information provided by the cable
manufacturer).
Figure 35: protecting communication cables against tensile forces
Strain relief clips should exactly fit with the cable diameter, in order to prevent permanent cable damage
(Figure 36).
Figure 36: proper and improper dimensioning of strain relief components
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Assembling
Torsional forces (described in Figure 37) could cause a shift of the pair wires with respect to each other
reducing the twisting effect, or even permanently damage the cable. Therefore, torsional forces should
be avoided whenever possible.
Figure 37: torsional forces acting on communication cables
In case the application includes parts moving with respect to each other and torsional forces cannot
therefore be avoided, only flexible cables specifically designed for constant movement should be used,
according to the information provided by the cable manufacturer.
Cable crushing should be avoided. In case communication cables could potentially be crushed by
mechanical moving parts or cabinet doors, adequate mechanical protection should be provided (as
shown in Figure 38).
Figure 38: protect communication cables against crushing
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Assembling
6.4
Connector Assembling
The ISO/IEC 61918 standard defines wire color standard and connector pin assignment for quad cables,
as shown in Figure 39.
Figure 39: connector pinout assignment for quad cables, according to ISO/IEC 61918
Particular care should be provided when employing field-assembled cables. The connector assembly
should be performed with the help of specifically intended tools, preserving the wire and shield integrity.
Annex I of the ISO/IEC 61918 specification provides general tips for the connector assembly in case of
Ethernet copper cables.
6.4.1 Assembly of RJ45 Connectors
In case of RJ45 connectors, the following steps should be followed:
a) Strip back the cable jacket for the length specified by the connector manufacturer in the
corresponding mounting instructions:
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Assembling
b) Fold the shield back to the end of the cable jacket, separate the wire pairs and align them as
shown. During this process, take particular care to keep the pairs twisted almost down to their
end and not to damage the shield itself. Then, trim off the length in excess for the length
specified by the connector manufacturer in the corresponding mounting instructions:
c) Check the correct wire orientation according to the required pinout assignment. In order to make
this step easier, several connectors provide splice elements or other mechanical aids which
keep the single wires steady and in the correct position for the following crimping process.
Please refer to the mounting instructions of the specific connector for further details.
d) Insert the conductors into the connector body. In this process, ensure that all wires touch the
end of the connector body:
e) Close/crimp the connector, then check it by gently pulling it:
f)
Finally, check the pin-to-pin continuity of each wire between cable ends with a multimeter.
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Assembling
6.4.2 Assembly of M12 Connectors
In case of M12 connectors, the following steps should be followed:
a) Slide the wire gland, nut and connector shell on the cable:
b) Strip back the cable jacket for the length specified by the connector manufacturer in the
corresponding mounting instructions:
c) Fold the shield back to the end of the cable jacket, separate the wire pairs and align them as
shown. During this process, take particular care to keep the pairs twisted almost down to their
end and not to damage the shield itself. Then, trim off the length in excess according to the
connector documentation:
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Assembling
d) Strip off the conductor insulation for the length specified by the connector manufacturer in the
corresponding mounting instructions:
e) Insert the wires into the back end of the connector body, according to the required pinout
assignment:
f)
Slide the connector shell over the connector back end. Then, slide the wire gland over the
connector shell and tighten. In this process, take particular care not to overtighten the wire gland
causing damage to the connector:
g) Finally, check the connection of each wire between cable ends with a tester.
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Assembling
In case of four-pair cables, the wire colour standard and connector pin assignment are defined in the
TIA-568-C specification. Two different connection schemes are described, referred as T568A and
T568B respectively.
The wire colour and pinout assignment defined by the TIA-568-C are different from the one described
in the IEC 61918, as shown in Figure 40. The two standards are compared in Table 15.
Table 15: wire color correspondence between ISO 61918 and TIA-568-C
Signal
RJ45
M12
Color IEC 61918
Color TIA-568-C
(T568A)
Color TIA-568-C
(T568B)
TD+
1
1
YE
WH/GN
WH/OG
TD-
2
3
OG
GN
OG
RD+
3
2
WH
WH/OG
WH/GN
RD-
6
4
BU
OG
GN
4
-
-
BU
BU
5
-
-
WH/BU
WH/BU
7
-
-
WH/BN
WH/BN
8
-
-
BR
BN
Figure 40: cabling schemes for RJ45 connectors according to TIA-568-C
As described in Subclause 5.4.1, a pin assignment according to the T568B at both cable ends should
be preferred. Nevertheless, the use of straight cables based on T568A at both cable ends, as well as of
cross cables, is allowed also other pinout assignment schemes are allowed (with the exception of
connections between devices based on Fast Hot-Connect technology, for which straight cables are
mandatory).
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Assembling
When assembling connectors to four-pair cables, the same steps described in Subclause 6.4.1 should
be followed.
During the connector assembly process, independently on the specific cable and connector type,
following rules should always be observed:

The plastic insulation of the single wires shall not be damaged during the process.

The twisted pairs should be separated only in the nearest proximity of the connectors.
Separating the twisted pairs too early (as shown in Figure 41) could lead to current loops and
disturbances.
Figure 41: badly assembled RJ45 connector
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Assembling

The shield should not be damaged or interrupted during the process, as shown in Figure 42.
The should surround the twisted pairs down to the connector, its continuity should not be
interrupted at any point, and it should be soldered to the connector metal cage (the impedence
between shield and connector metal cage should be as low as possible).
Figure 42: proper and improper connection of cable shield with connector housing
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Commissioning
7
Commissioning
7.1
Visual Check
The first step during the commissioning phase of an EtherCAT network should consist in a visual
inspection, which should check step-by-step the correct execution of the implementation aspects
described in the previous Subclauses. The scope of the visual inspection should be to detect or even
prevent all those potential critical points which can be immediately be located, without the need of further
tests and specific measuring devices.
A visual inspection of the network installation should enable to detect commissioning errors or potential
problems concerning:

Network structure

Cable routing

Cable integrity
Table 16 can be used as a possible checklist during the visual inspection:
Table 16: checklist for network visual inspection
Step
Action
Checked
1
Network structure
1.1
Is the maximum distance between devices compliant with the network
planning (according to Subclause 4.2)?
□
1.2
Is the maximum number of connections within each end-to-end link
compliant with the network planning (according to Subclause 5.3)?
□
1.3
Are network devices properly connected to earth (according to Subclause
5.7)?
□
2
Cable routing
2.1
Are the installed cable type and section compliant with the network planning
(according to Subclause 5.4)?
□
2.2
Is the minimum distance between communication cables and power cables
ensured, according to the separation type adopted (according to Subclause
5.6)?
□
2.3
Do crossings between communication cables and power cables take place
with a 90° angle (according to Subclause 6.1)?
□
2.4
Are coils in communication cables avoided (according to Subclause 6.1)?
□
2.5
Is the minimum bending radius of communication cables guaranteed
(according to Subclause 6.3)?
□
2.6
Are communication cables specifically protected against sharp edges,
especially when tensile forces could cause a permanent cable damage
against the sharp edge (according to Subclause 6.3)?
□
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Commissioning
Step
Action
Checked
2.7
Are strain relief components installed wherever tensile forces could
permanently damage cables and connectors (according to Subclause 6.3)?
□
2.8
Are torsional forces avoided, wherever no specifically designed cables are
used (according to Subclause 6.3)?
□
2.9
Are communication cables protected against crushing by moving parts
(according to Subclause 6.3)?
□
3
Cable integrity
3.1
Is the cable coating damaged anywhere between the two endpoints?
□
3.2
Are communication cables clearly crushed by strain relief or external
earthing clips (according to Subclauses 6.1 and 6.3)?
□
3.3
Is the cable shield damaged or torn in proximity of cable connectors, or in
correspondence to external shield earthing clips (according to Subclause
6.1)?
□
3.4
When all devices are powered on, Link/Activity LED of all connected
interfaces fixed on or flickering (according to Subclause 4.4)?
□
3.5
Is the time needed to establish the link clearly longer than that for similar
configurations, and clearly longer than that observed when using short
cables? Is this time clearly longer than 6÷7 seconds after the device poweron?
□
7.2
Measurement of Channel Physical Parameters
The verification of the channel physical parameters within an EtherCAT network can be performed at
different levels, using measuring instruments of growing complexity and costs.
It is highly recommended always to add measurement results obtained during the commissioning phase
to the machine or plant documentation, in order to be able to trace later changes in the parameter values
and therefore to detect problems potentially emerging during the machine or plant life cycle.
7.2.1
Cable Testing
A very simple cable testing can be performed by means of standard, low-cost multimeters (Figure 43).
Such devices can be used to check the most relevant physical parameters of cables.
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Commissioning
In order to properly interpret the results of cable measurements, the DC resistance of wires and shield
should be known from the data provided by the cable manufacturer. If the cable parameter values are
not provided or a certain mismatch is observed between expected and real length values, an initial
measurement of a sample cable should be performed.
Aspects which can be checked through a simple cable test are the following:

Correct pinout assignment on both cable ends, according to the ISO/IEC 61918 (for quad
cables) or TIA-568-C (for four-pair cables) pinout standards described in Subclause 6.4.

Wire continuity between corresponding pins at the two cable ends.

Cable resistance (given the cable length), short-circuiting pair pins at one cable end, measuring
the resistance between the same pins at the other end and comparing the measured resistance
value with the one calculated on the basis of the resistance value per unit length declared by
the cable manufacturer.

Cable length (given the cable resistance), dividing the measured cable resistance by the
resistance value per unit length declared by the cable manufacturer.
Figure 43: simple cable verification with a multimeter device
The cable testing allows to identify even minor wiring problems if the electrical parameters of the cable
and the length are known, and therefore it is typically sufficient during the commissioning phase of an
EtherCAT network unless communication errors are detected as described in Subclause 7.4.
7.2.2
Function Testing
The test described in Subclause 7.2.1 allows checking the main cable physical parameters only, but
does not represent a real communication test. In order to check the cable behaviour under real,
100 Mbit/s full-duplex Ethernet communication, a function testing by means of suitable devices can be
performed (as shown in Figure 44: cable qualification with a function tester device). In a function test,
predefined Ethernet frames are sent by the measuring unit, and answered by the remote unit. Function
testing allows to verify:

Data corruption during transmission, caused by EM disturbances, bad cable assembly or poor
component manufacturing.

Possible bandwidth limitations for a 100 Mbit/s full-duplex transmission, caused both by cables
and intermediate components.
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Commissioning

Possible excessive channel attenuation, caused by intermediate components (the cable
contribution to attenuation should have been already evaluated by means of cable testing
described in Subclause 7.2.1).
Figure 44: cable qualification with a function tester device
Function testing is recommended for all channels including infrastructural components (like slip rings or
media converters) different from mere passive connectors, especially if these infrastructural components
have not been previously tested for EtherCAT applications by the component manufacturer. The test
should always be performed under the worst-case operating conditions of the infrastructural components
(for example, at the maximum rotating speed of the slip ring expected by the specific application).
7.2.3
Acceptance Testing
The channel parameters described in Subclause 5.3, like IL or NEXT, can be measured as a function
of frequency by means of suitable, high-end test devices (as shown in Figure 45). Through these testing
devices, it is possible to determine detailed information like:

Channel IL, as a sum of the attenuations introduced by the different parts (cables, intermediate
connectors, infrastructural components).

Channel NEXT, that is the degree of influence between neighbor pairs.
In case of very high NEXT values, an accurate measurement would be not possible: for this reason,
NEXT values greater than 40 dB should be considered always as an index of good performance. In
case of short cables, the same could be assumed for ACR values greater than 30 dB.
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Commissioning
Figure 45: cable certification with an acceptance tester
Acceptance tests typically require very expensive test devices. The application of the rules of structured
cabling described in Subclause 5.3, together with a precise knowledge of the physical parameters of all
channel parts (cables, intermediate connectors, infrastructural components), typically prevent from the
need to directly measure the channel physical parameters. Therefore performing an acceptance testing
for all channels within an EtherCAT network is not generally required during the commissioning phase.
An acceptance testing during of the commissioning phase of the EtherCAT network should be performed
only when the physical parameters of the parts forming a channel are unknown, and communication
errors are detected as described in Subclause 7.4.
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Commissioning
Indication for device manufacturers
A test measuring the physical parameters as a function of frequency by means of suitable devices is
instead highly recommended for all manufacturers of infrastructural components (like slip rings, or
media converters) which are not EtherCAT devices.
The test should measure the physical parameters between the component input and output points,
and should include all the intermediate parts (cables, metallic contacts, intermediate connectors), as
shown in Figure 46.
Figure 46: parameter measurement for infrastructural components
The test should always performed under the worst-case operating conditions declared in the
component datasheet or documentation.
The test results should also be reported in the component datasheet or documentation, in order to
provide users with the information required to properly plan a channel without the need to perform a
function testing during the network commissioning phase themselves.
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Commissioning
7.2.4
Checklist for Channel Measurements
When measuring the communication cables, the checklist reported in Table 17 can be used:
Table 17: checklist for channel measurements
Step
Action
Checked
1
Cable testing
1.1
Is the cable pinout assignment correct (according to Subclause 6.4)?
□
1.2
Are short-circuits between different pair conductors, or between conductors
and shield, avoided?
□
1.3
Is the cable resistance compliant with the tolerable values (according to
Subclause 5.4)?
□
2
Function testing
2.1
Are test frames sent and received without errors?
3
Acceptance tests
3.1
Is the cable attenuation (IL) of each channel compliant with the specified
values (according to cable specification/ test measurement)?
□
3.2
Is the cable near-end crosstalk (NEXT) of each channel compliant with the
specified values (according to cable specification/ test measurement)?
The measurement of values in the range of 50dB and higher requires no
exact match but a high value.
□
7.3
□
Measurement of Earthing System
During the commissioning phase of an EtherCAT network, the implementation of the earthing system
should always be checked by means of a standard multimeter.
The scope of this measurement should be to verify that each component of the EtherCAT network which
could influence the communication performances is properly connected to the system earth. A proper
earthing of all components directly or indirectly involved in the network infrastructure will prevent current
loops from affecting the communication.
When checking the earthing system, the check list reported in Table 18 could be used.
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Commissioning
Table 18: checklist for earthing system
Step
Action
Checked
1
Measure the impedance between each cabinet and the local earth. Is this
impedance < 0,1 Ω?
□
2
Measure the impedance between different local earths at different points in
the network. Is this impedance < 0,1 Ω?
□
3
Measure the impedance between the PE pin of each device (if available) and
the local earth (like DIN rail, or metallic mounting support). Is the measured
impedance < 1 Ω?
If no PE pin is available, is the device connected to the local earth in another
way (like metallic clamps on the back of the device, or metallic contact with
the mounting screws) with a measured impedance < 1 Ω?
□
Measure the impedance between the metallic part of each EtherCAT
connector (with EtherCAT cables disconnected) and the local earth (i.e. DIN
rail, or metallic mounting support).
If the measured impedence is very high but is not an open circuit (i.e. in the
order of magnitude of MΩ), no further check should be performed.
4
If the measured impedance is low, than it should be < 1 Ω. If this is not the
case, it should be checked that the cable shield has been connected to the
cabinet or device chassis with suitable cable clips having a very low
impedance (< 0,1 Ω).
□
If the measured impedance is an open circuit, it should be checked that the
cable shield have been connected to the cabinet or device chassis with
suitable cable clips having a very low impedance (< 0,1 Ω).
7.4
EtherCAT-Specific Diagnostics
All EtherCAT slave devices provide diagnostic information at hardware level in the form of error counters
which are incremented and reported at standard memory addresses by ESCs.
EtherCAT masters or master configuration tools should provide functionalities which allow users to
monitor the hardware error counters provided by ESC. This could be done, for example, in the form of
monitoring windows within the master configuration tool, or of function blocks which can read the error
counter values from the PLC program.
The hardware error counters should always extensively checked during the commissioning phase, in
order to detect communication errors, locate problems or critical points, and in case change the network
planning or installation. The monitoring of the error counters during the commissioning phase should be
performed in all the possible operating conditions of the machine or plant.
The hardware error counters should also be checked during the life cycle of the machine or plant, every
time the network communication starts having problems.
7.4.1
Link Lost Counters
The ESC increments each Link Lost Counter when the corresponding port detects an interruption of the
channel continuity. Link Lost counters are described in Table 19.
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Commissioning
Table 19: Link Lost Counter registers
Memory Address
Meaning
Size
0x0310
Link Lost Counter port 0
1 byte
0x0311
Link Lost Counter port 1
1 byte
0x0312
Link Lost Counter port 2
1 byte
0x0313
Link Lost Counter port 3
1 byte
As the continuity of the physical medium should never be interrupted, these counter should never be
incremented during the machine or plant operation, unless one or more devices are intentionally
powered-off or disconnected from the network.
7.4.2
RX Error Counters
The ESC increments each RX Error Counter when the corresponding physical layer interface of the
corresponding port (the PHY chip, for 100BASE-TX and 100BASE-FX channels) reports a symbol error.
This indicates a corruption of the signal.
Symbol error means specifically that a particular bit sequence is not recognized by the physical layer
interface as one of the valid ones according to the specific hardware coding method used. As idle
symbols are sent on the physical medium even when no frames are transmitted, RX errors can occur
both within and outside EtherCAT frames. RX Error Counters are described in Table 20.
Table 20: RX Error Counter registers
Memory Address
Meaning
Size
0x0301
RX Error Counter port 0
1 byte
0x0303
RX Error Counter port 1
1 byte
0x0305
RX Error Counter port 2
1 byte
0x0307
RX Error Counter port 3
1 byte
A completely error-free data transmission is physically not possible. In industrial environment, a bit error
rate of 1*10-12 is typically taken as index of good performances. An occasional increment of the RX Error
Counters which is compatible with this value of bit error rate is not therefore symptom of a problem. A
critical condition is instead detected by much faster or burst increments of the RX Error Counters.
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Commissioning
7.4.3
CRC Error Counters
The ESC increments each CRC Error Counter when the corresponding port detects an error when
performing the cyclic redundancy check.
The cyclic redundancy check is always performed by each ESC port when the frame is received from
outside. CRC Error Counters are described in Table 21.
Table 21: CRC Error Counter registers
Memory Address
Meaning
Size
0x0300
CRC Error Counter port 0
1 byte
0x0302
CRC Error Counter port 1
1 byte
0x0304
CRC Error Counter port 2
1 byte
0x0306
CRC Error Counter port 3
1 byte
A completely error-free data transmission is physically not possible. In industrial environment, a bit error
rate of 1*10-12 is typically taken as index of good performances. An occasional increment of the CRC
Error Counters which is compatible with this value of bit error rate is not therefore symptom of a problem.
A critical condition is instead detected by much faster or burst increments of the CRC Error Counters.
As RX Error Counters can increment both within and outside frames while CRC Error Counters can be
incremented only within frame, in case of external random disturbances an increment of both RX and
CRC Error Counters should be observed on the long term. A high increment of an RX Error Counter
with no increment of the corresponding CRC Error Counter would indicate more probably an electrical
problem within the device.
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Summary
8
Summary
The communication infrastructure represents the core of a machine or plant: it determines the amount
of data which can be exchanged between controllers and field devices, the minimum cycle times which
can be reached, as well as the degree of synchronization of different components.
In case of EtherCAT networks, the implementation of the communication infrastructure consists of three
phases:

Planning. The scope of the planning phase is to check and define in advance all those aspects
which determine the architecture of a machine or plant. Some of its tasks are the definition of
the environmental conditions (with specific care to particularly critical points), the choice of
EtherCAT devices, the dimensioning of the hardware connections, the selection of cables and
connectors, and of suitable infrastructure components.

Assembling. The assembling phase aims to properly translate the indications produced by the
planning phase into a real network infrastructure. Core tasks are to provide proper protection to
the communication infrastructure, both from the mechanical and from the electromagnetic point
of view, as well as to correctly assemble the components of the communication infrastructure
like connectors.

Commissioning. The proper implementation of the communication infrastructure should always
be tested in order to immediately detect planning errors as well as assembly weaknesses. The
network infrastructure can be checked at first via simple measurements performed by means of
off-the-shelf measuring devices. In case of particularly critical points within the network, deeper
measurements can be performed using more complex instruments. The extensive diagnostic
information provided by EtherCAT devices allows to locate errors and critical points within the
network infrastructure.
All the results of the planning, assembling and commissioning phases should be included into the
documentation of a machine or plant, in order to allow a fast detection of changes in the infrastructure
parameters and behavior, and therefore an easier maintenance process during the life cycle of the
machine or plant itself.
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