Drives and Controls Magazine
Technology finds and repairs EtherCat network faults
Published:  19 February, 2014

The Israeli motion specialist ACS Motion Control has developed a network failure detection and recovery technology that, it claims, will dramatically increase the uptime of machines that rely on the EtherCat network.

The technology, called NetworkBoost, detects the exact location of a failure in an EtherCat network, minimising troubleshooting and repair time. It also allows the network to resume and continue its normal operation without needing to replace the failed cable. There is no need for additional hardware – just an extra Ethernet port on the host PC to create an alternative path, and an EtherCat cable.

“Motion control systems that utilise EtherCat networks are sensitive to failures of the network cables, especially those that include many moving nodes and cables,” explains ACS president, Ze'ev Kirshenboim. “Even an intermittent failure can have a detrimental effect on motion, which could significantly impact the uptime of machines.

“NetworkBoost provides immediate recovery and resumed manufacturing without the need of a costly onsite technician,” he adds, “delivering increased machine uptime and higher productivity.”

NetworkBoost is currently available as an option for ACS’ SPiiPlusSC soft controller and can be applied to any ACS EtherCat network in applications where downtime could be costly.