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EtherCAT conformance Test Tool version 2.0 released

12 July 2016

The Technical Working Group, Conformance within the EtherCAT Technology Group released version 2.0 of the EtherCAT Conformance Test Tool (CTT) which features a significantly extended test set for EtherCAT devices.

Manufacturers of EtherCAT slaves especially benefit from the new version, which is distinguished mainly by new functionalities for device configuration and EtherCAT development. Additionally, fully automated testing of EtherCAT devices in Distributed Clocks (DC) mode is now available.

The EtherCAT Conformance Test Tool, or CTT, is the official reference tool for specifying compliant implementation of EtherCAT technology into EtherCAT slaves. The CTT enables the hundreds of EtherCAT device manufacturers to ensure reliable interoperability in the field. The first version of the CTT was created in 2008 and all subsequent updates have proven to be stable in practice. To maintain continuity, version 2.0 retains all functionalities and tests from the first version while adding impressive new features.

With the updates in version 2.0, central extensions become available. Over and above the main job of the tool, which is to conduct device tests and detect possible errors, CCT 2.0 significantly extends functionalities that support and simplify EtherCAT development. This includes the ESI editor which can be used to edit the device description file, SII control to generate the EEPROM content, as well as additional functionalities such as the possibility to upload the object dictionary from the device and save it for the ESI.

In parallel to the extensions of the new version, test coverage has been increased systematically, leading to a much higher number of possible test cases. Furthermore, CTT 2.0 supports the operation of devices in the highly accurate synchronisation mode (Distributed Clocks) which can now be tested via a fully automated process. Additionally, one can create any number of configurations in one project for an EtherCAT slave – even automatically. This enables the developer to test the devices comfortably and quickly in all available configurations. The test results themselves can be exported for documentation into Microsoft Excel or .csv format.

The test logic, and thus the tests themselves, are defined and released by a special working group within the EtherCAT Technology Group, the Technical Working Group, Conformance. The test software of the CTT, which conducts the logic defined in the tests and evaluates the behaviour of the EtherCAT devices with the given logic, is developed and maintained by Beckhoff Automation. This ensures continuous development of the tool which also includes new functionalities in the built-in configurator, as well as support of all Windows operation systems, including the new 64-bit architecture.

Version 2.0 of the Conformance Test Tool is now available to all members of the EtherCAT Technology Group.

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