Device description ESI file/XML

Attention regarding update of the ESI description/EEPROM

Some slaves have stored calibration and configuration data from the production in the EEPROM. These are irretrievably overwritten during an update.

The ESI device description is stored locally on the slave and loaded on start-up. Each device description has a unique identifier consisting of slave name (9 characters/digits) and a revision number (4 digits). Each slave configured in the System Manager shows its identifier in the EtherCAT tab:

Device description ESI file/XML 1:
Device identifier consisting of name EL3204-0000 and revision -0016

The configured identifier must be compatible with the actual device description used as hardware, i.e. the description which the slave has loaded on start-up (in this case EL3204). Normally the configured revision must be the same or lower than that actually present in the terminal network.

For further information on this, please refer to the EtherCAT system documentation.

Update of XML/ESI description

The device revision is closely linked to the firmware and hardware used. Incompatible combinations lead to malfunctions or even final shutdown of the device. Corresponding updates should only be carried out in consultation with Beckhoff support.

Display of ESI slave identifier

The simplest way to ascertain compliance of configured and actual device description is to scan the EtherCAT boxes in TwinCAT mode Config/FreeRun:

Device description ESI file/XML 2:
Scan the subordinate field by right-clicking on the EtherCAT device

If the found field matches the configured field, the display shows

Device description ESI file/XML 3:
Configuration is identical

otherwise a change dialog appears for entering the actual data in the configuration.

Device description ESI file/XML 4:
Change dialog

In this example in Fig. Change dialog, an EL3201-0000-0017 was found, while an EL3201-0000-0016 was configured. In this case the configuration can be adapted with the Copy Before button. The Extended Information checkbox must be set in order to display the revision.

Changing the ESI slave identifier

The ESI/EEPROM identifier can be updated as follows under TwinCAT:

  • Trouble-free EtherCAT communication must be established with the slave.
  • The state of the slave is irrelevant.
  • Right-clicking on the slave in the online display opens the EEPROM Update dialog, Fig. EEPROM Update
Device description ESI file/XML 5:

The new ESI description is selected in the following dialog, see Fig. Selecting the new ESI. The checkbox Show Hidden Devices also displays older, normally hidden versions of a slave.

Device description ESI file/XML 6:
Selecting the new ESI

A progress bar in the System Manager shows the progress. Data are first written, then verified.

The change only takes effect after a restart.

Most EtherCAT devices read a modified ESI description immediately or after startup from the INIT. Some communication settings such as distributed clocks are only read during power-on. The EtherCAT slave therefore has to be switched off briefly in order for the change to take effect.