Easier EtherCAT Node Integration with RMP

January 4, 2024

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Node integration has been transformed from a cumbersome process to a remarkably straightforward one. The days of waiting for new releases to support the latest Node versions are now a thing of the past. With just a few simple XML modifications, you have the flexibility to utilize a wide range of nodes.

In August 2022, we introduced CustomNodeInfo.xml. This feature simplifies the adaptation of any customization or implementation of a node across different versions of system configurations. In July 2023, we enriched this experience with comprehensive examples, demystifying the process further. In our next release (10.5+), we will support the auto-implementation of DS402 drives. This feature will cover implementing the Control, Status, and Motion aspects of drives.  

Currently, integrating a node is a swift process, requiring only about a minute to copy, paste, and edit approximately eight or nine lines in CustomNodeInfo.xml. For detailed guidance, visit our EtherCAT Node Support page. Typically, you'll only need to specify the Vendor ID, Product Code, axis count, and a custom name for visibility in RapidSetup.

EtherCAT PlugFests exemplify the ease of integrating new nodes. At the 2023 North American Plugfest, moving hardware around and making introductions generally took longer than getting a motor spinning. The large network interoperability testing at these events demonstrates our ability to quickly identify and resolve compatibility issues among previous untested node combinations.

Looking to the future, we promise to make further improvements, simplifying the new node integration process.

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