A Seamless Self-configuring EtherCAT Master Redundancy Protocol

Jürgen Dobaj*, Matthias Seidl, Thomas Krug, Michael Krisper, Georg Macher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


The ever-increasing demand for system autonomy in all kinds of applications is accompanied by the need for increased fault-tolerance to build highly-reliable systems. EtherCAT technology is one of the most widely used industrial Ethernet solutions for process control and automation. While EtherCAT provides some fault-tolerance mechanisms, it does not protect an industrial control system against the malfunction of its master node. In this paper, we present a software-based master redundancy protocol for EtherCAT, which enables an EtherCAT network to seamlessly recover from master node failures within the same communication cycle. Moreover, the protocol integrates seamlessly into new and existing applications without the need to re-implement functionality and without running into compatibility problems. Experimental results showed that communication cycles in the sub-millisecond range are supported. Hence, the presented master redundancy protocol provides an easy to use, scalable, and cost-effective solution to increase the reliability of EtherCAT networks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSystems, Software and Services Process Improvement
Subtitle of host publication27th European Conference, EuroSPI 2020, Proceedings
EditorsMurat Yilmaz, Paul Clarke, Jörg Niemann, Richard Messnarz
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-56441-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-56440-7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Event27th European Conference on System, Software, and Service Process Improvements and Innovations - Düsseldorf, Germany, Virtuell, Germany
Duration: 9 Sept 202011 Sept 2020
Conference number: 27

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science


Conference27th European Conference on System, Software, and Service Process Improvements and Innovations
Abbreviated titleEuroAsiaSPI 2020
Internet address


  • Automation
  • EtherCAT
  • Fault-tolerance
  • Industrial ethernet
  • Process control
  • Real-time
  • Reliability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Computer Science(all)

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