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Author Topic: Ethercat Options?  (Read 1187 times)
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Gallymimu
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« on: June 02, 2013, 06:34:28 06:34 »

Anyone here have experience with Ethercat?  It doesn't look to be that widely used and honestly looks more complex to implement that it's worth.  We have a customer though that is convinced it's the bees knees for deterministic low latency data transmission (it would be for remote sensor PID control).

If it were up to me I'd be doing it over RS485 with a simple custom protocol, BUT I don't want to rule out Ethercat just because I don't know much about it.

Any thoughts on Ethercat?
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solutions
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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2013, 09:27:29 09:27 »

Unless he needs interoperability with other equipment, he's an idiot. Point that out to him, then do what he wants.

Charge him accordingly, with more money in it for you when it falls on its face and you come riding over the hill with your white hat on, RS485 ablazing
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Gallymimu
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2013, 09:25:03 21:25 »

Unless he needs interoperability with other equipment, he's an idiot. Point that out to him, then do what he wants.

Charge him accordingly, with more money in it for you when it falls on its face and you come riding over the hill with your white hat on, RS485 ablazing

yeah glad you see it the way I do.  I've had bad experiences with these complex stacks before (used Hilscher and Anybus for Profibus, EthernetIP, and Devicenet).  Total PITA to integrate even when you buy the "easy to use" board with custom ASIC that you communicate to through dual port memory.  Then when something doesn't work all the vendors finger point and leave you hanging.

Anyway I'd love to hear if someone's used it. (I'm assuming you've not used it Solutions but rather recognize the overkill in this type of application)
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DreamCat
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2013, 12:38:02 12:38 »

the BUS which they want to used depends on the existing environmental, speed and cost.
dose your customer really need very low latency time?
I think you could discuss these with your customer.

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May be I expressed the wrong meaning, sorry for my bad english. Please correct it for me if you can.
Gallymimu
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2013, 01:31:03 13:31 »

the BUS which they want to used depends on the existing environmental, speed and cost.
dose your customer really need very low latency time?
I think you could discuss these with your customer.



Yes of course there are a lot of options that can be proposed and discussion with the customer is forthcoming.  The customer is not particularly electronics savvy (they are more mechanically oriented).  

What I'd like is some background on ethercat from someone whose used it to get the real scoop on it's robustness, ease of implementation and supportability.  They guys who sell fieldbus implementations like ethercat are great at selling how easy it is to use and implement.  Then when your past the point of no return you find all the ugly hairy bugs, problems and complexities that the vendor didn't tell you about.

Since this is used for PID, yes you could conceivably need low latency depending on the process being controlled and it's bandwidth.  For this application a latency of a few ms would probably be fine though I'd be more concerned with inconsistency of jitter and determinism of that latency.  
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