EC-Simulator virtualizes EtherCAT networks by simulating the EtherCAT slave devices in order to run EtherCAT Master applications without real EtherCAT slave hardware devices available.
EtherCAT simulation is possible via a physical network adapter, or also virtually, to realize a completely simulated machine setup. Configuring the simulation instance is seamless using the ENI file of the real network.
With EC-Simulator it is possible to react to Process Data (PDOs), send and receive Service Data (SDOs), interact with the Slave Stack, and more. This is all possible to be programmed via the API available for C/C++ or .NET, enabling the connection of EtherCAT data to various other professional software tools for the imitation of real-world systems.
Master Software Development
- Run the EtherCAT Master application without real EtherCAT slave devices
- Convenient and easy integration of the EtherCAT master stack software with the master application, for example, implement and test functions for slaves which aren't available
- Enable implementing and testing of advanced EtherCAT features like Hot Connect, Firmware download via FoE, etc.
- Validate the master application with different network configurations and topologies → As simple as loading a different ENI file into EC-Simulator
- User-friendly debugging of complex topologies and complicated scenarios with numerous varying slave types
- Replace manual test procedures by automatic programmable test procedures
- Simulate slave errors like when a slave drops down from OP to SAFEOP state
- Simulate cable breaks, frame loss, bad connections, etc.
- Simulate large networks with many slaves and large amounts of process data
- Simulate error scenarios at precise locations within the network, including before or after real slaves
- Implement enhanced test scenarios like simulating topology changes
- Develop and test applications based on a software emulation (Digital Twin) of the machine logic
- Test and optimize the application at a very early stage of the development prior to having any real target hardware and devices
- Test error scenarios that are dangerous and/or could lead to physical damage
- Develop slave firmware before real hardware is available
- EC-Simulator is based on the Beckhoff® EtherCAT Slave Stack ET9300, and all standard APPL_XXX() functions are available on the application layer
- Develop firmware in Windows or Linux with a convenient and easy-to-use IDE
- Use recorded network frames or generated test data as process data input for slave firmware
- Capture and trace process data outputs and states to files
- Test upload and download of parameters via CoE and VoE
- Test firmware downloads via FoE