Configure EtherCAT Master to Interface with a Beckhoff EtherCAT Coupler

Updated Jun 6, 2023



  • LabVIEW Full

Operating System

  • Windows


  • Beckhoff EtherCAT Coupler (such as the EK1100)
  • Beckhoff I/O module (such as the EL 1002)

I have a Beckhoff EtherCAT Coupler (such as the EK1100) and a Beckhoff I/O module (such as the EL 1002).  How do I configure this system in LabVIEW?

  1. Follow the steps outlined in Setting Up EtherCAT on NI Programmable Automation Controllers to configure your EtherCAT master.
  2. Add the XML Device Description to the LabVIEW project. 
  3. Add your EtherCAT coupler:
    1. Right click on the EtherCAT master»New Target or Device.
    2. In the pop-up select EtherCAT Slave Device»Beckhoff Automation GmbH»EK1100 EtherCAT Coupler (or similar)
  1. Once you have added the Coupler, repeat the above steps, this time clicking on the Coupler in the LabVIEW project. Select your IO Device as shown in the Image Below.
  1. The IO items should appear below your device.  You can now use these in your Real Time VI. 

Once you have the coupler added to the project, you should be able to get started with interfacing with the unit. Check the maufacturer's website to see which I/O need to be communicated, and how you should set those up in a VI to communicate properly.

You can find some basic examples for communicating on the EtherCAT protocol using the following steps:
  • Select Help»Find Examples from LabVIEW to launch the NI Example Finder.
  • Navigate to the Hardware Input and Output»NI-Industrial Communications»EtherCAT folder to access the examples.