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.