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4 Things to Know about Real-Time Ethernet Communication of Safe Train Control System menTCS

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Especially in safety-critical applications real-time (RT) communication is a must. Ethernet networks come into the game when price is an issue and high-performance standardized protocols are needed. Fieldbusses used today are partly based on industrial real-time Ethernet variants with standardized safety protocols like Profinet, EtherCAT, Ethernet Powerlink, and others.
The safe train control system family also uses a real-time Ethernet communication within the network. This piece gives answers to the questions:
- 1: How is Communication within menTCS Organized?
2: Which RT Ethernet Standard is Used for menTCS?
3: Why EtherCAT for menTCS?
4: What are the Extension Possibilities for menTCS?

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4 Things to Know about Real-Time Ethernet Communication of Safe Train Control System menTCS

  1. 1. Textmasterformat bearbeiten ▪ Second Level ▪ Third Level ▪ Fourth Level Fifth Level November 23, 2017 4 Things to Know about… Real-Time Ethernet Communication of Safe Train Control System menTCS
  2. 2. 2 RT Ethernet Communication of menTCS Especially in safety-critical applications real-time (RT) communication is a must. Ethernet networks come into the game when price is an issue and high- performance standardized protocols are needed. Fieldbusses used today are partly based on industrial real-time Ethernet variants with standardized safety protocols like Profinet, EtherCAT, Ethernet Powerlink, and others. The safe train control system family also uses a real-time Ethernet communication within the network. This piece gives answers to the following questions: 1: How is Communication within menTCS Organized? 2: Which RT Ethernet Standard is Used for menTCS? 3: Why EtherCAT for menTCS? 4: What are the Extension Possibilities for menTCS?
  3. 3. How is Communication within menTCS Organized? The menTCS software distinguishes between the safe and the non-vital domain. In order to guarantee appropriate communication between the safe controller and the safe I/O functions via real-time Ethernet, the “black channel” approach is applied and ensures end-to-end protection of transmission. In addition, up to 63 modular menTCS I/O boxes are available to connect remote I/Os to the central menTCS controller. > See data sheet of control unit MH50C
  4. 4. Which RT Ethernet Standard is Used for menTCS? The complete menTCS I/O – no matter whether it is part of the menTCS controller unit or located in the remote I/O boxes – are connected via real-time Ethernet ”EtherCAT“. All remote I/O boxes are connected to the controller in a ring topology, which tolerates single failures. For example, in case of a broken cable, the system is still fully operational, as all I/O boxes can still be reached from the other end of the ring. The communication is protected via Safety over EtherCAT (FSOE) protocol. > See data sheet of remote I/O box KT8
  5. 5. Why EtherCAT for menTCS? EtherCAT is a real-time Ethernet standard based on open Ethernet that fulfills the conditions to make communication between menTCS components safe: ▪ EtherCAT is deterministic, with cycle times ≤ 5 ms. ▪ EtherCAT is able to operate without switches. ▪ EtherCAT supports a ring topology. ▪ The safety communication layer of EtherCAT (FSoE) establishes an end-to-end protection to the safe I/O board. ▪ Any packet that leaves the safe domain is encapsulated in an envelope that is checked by the receiver of the packet (the safe I/O board). With this method, failures like packet duplication, loss, wrong sequence, corruption, wrong addressing etc. are covered. ▪ FSoE covers the requirements of EN 50159. > Get more detailed answers to menTCS in the Frequently asked Questions
  6. 6. What are the Extension Possibilities for menTCS? Theoretically you can attach e.g. a standard (non-safe) EtherCAT device to menTCS. However, with the current status of the EtherCAT software on the CPU, there is no way to access the non-safe EtherCAT data on the IO Processor or on the Control Processor. With a modified version of the EtherCAT master and/or the PACY software (included in menTCS package), it is possible to support non-safe EtherCAT devices. You can also attach a safety EtherCAT device with FSoE from a third party to menTCS, but it needs software support on the Control Processor, in form of a PACY device driver. > Get the press release for more information about PACY If you use a copper-to-fiber-optic converter from a third party (e.g. Beckhoff’s CU1521 “EtherCAT media converter fibre optic”) also fiber optic can be used to connect to EtherCAT devices.
  7. 7. www.men.de/tcs/ www.menmicro.com/tcs/ www.men-france.fr/tcs/

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