netFIELD App EtherCAT Tap / Realizing IIoT projects with EtherCAT data

Creating value via passive network tapping of device process data from the network
  • Parallel data tapping without affecting the EtherCAT PLC

  • IIoT-compatible provision of data via MQTT protocol

  • Import of symbolic information from TwinCAT ENI project file

  • Simple commissioning via topology import from TwinCAT ENI project file

  • Reduced functionality without license key for test purposes

The app analyzes the data stream of an EtherCAT-controlled network in real time and transfers the filtered-out process data of the EtherCAT devices via the IIoT protocol MQTT to the MQTT broker. The netFIELD App EtherCAT Tap can be operated independently of the platform.

A data switch, to be installed directly behind the EtherCAT master, physically taps the data at the Ethernet network and transfers it into the container without affecting the PLC. The data switch is a netMIRROR (Ethernet mirror TAP) from Hilscher combined with a netX SoC network controller that is integrated in the container host.

Via the ENI file, the EtherCAT network topology will automatically be read out from TwinCAT or other engineering tools. The process data to be transferred to the MQTT broker will be selected in the network tree.

The app can import ENI project data. Owing to this import, the project data can be realized with symbolic information.

The app allows users to determine for each separate process datum whether the EtherCAT data is tapped seamlessly or scanned at intervals. Moreover, users can determine which topics are to be transmitted to the MQTT broker at which interval. An EtherCAT data buffer and an MQTT payload transmission as a data array serve to prevent a data overflow.

The parallel tapping of the data (without affecting the PLC) and its transfer to IoT technologies are prerequisites for the long-term data analysis as well as the detection of trends and error scenarios. Plant and system operators benefit from the increased productivity of their assets through predictive maintenance, downtime minimization, and optimized workflows (created with the help of intelligent machine learning algorithms).

Under the netFIELD brand, Hilscher offers additional communication containers, platforms for edge devices, and a cloud-based remote management solution for devices and containers.





Product name


Part number



netFIELD App EtherCAT Tap

Software type



Hardware requirements

Processor architecture

x64, ARM64

Container size

400 MB, unpacked

Memory requirements

Minimum 200 MB, plus 100 KB of usable data buffer size per filtered process data

Data feed

2x 10/100 Mbit/s netX-SoC based industrial Ethernet ports (via netMIRROR Ethernet Mirror Tap)

Software requirements

Operating system


Container runtime environment

Required, e.g. Docker

Data distribution

Any MQTT broker, such as Mosquitto (access within the container network)

Runtime properties

Inbound protocol

EtherCAT (as non-active device)

Inbound protocol sampling rate

Sampling rate per process data

  • on change

  • seamlessly

  • configurable interval

Outbound protocol

MQTT (as a client)

Outbound protocol send rate

Adjustable from 1 ms, typically 100 ms

Data throughput

Processor performance dependent


License type

Floating license

Includes all updates within 1 year of license activation

Container protection

CodeMeter licensing technology

Product activation

License key

License server

Required for license storage and retrieval (Windows or container)

Billing model

One-time payment

Product name

Part number

Brief description



netFIELD App EtherCAT Tap / Realizing IIoT projects with EtherCAT data

Download Software
Download Technical Documentation