Drives and Controls Magazine
Combined Sercos III and EtherNet/IP infrastructure makes SPS debut
Published:  08 November, 2012

Sercos International (SI) has announced that the first demonstration of an infrastructure that blends Sercos III with EtherNet/IP will be at this year`s SPS/IPC/Drives show in Germany in November. The demo will show various Sercos III and EtherNet/IP devices connected to prototype controllers from Bosch Rexroth and Schneider Electric using a common Ethernet infrastructure running on one cable.

The blended infrastructure approach was announced in April 2012 as one of the first practical results of the machinery initiative which brings together SI, ODVA and the OPC Foundation.

Because the network infrastructure for EtherNet/IP and Sercos III includes Ethernet physical and datalink layers, Sercos telegrams, CIP messages and TCP/IP messages can coexist on the network without needing extra cables. To keep the cyclical and clocked communications of Sercos III intact, the CIP messages and TCP/IP telegrams are transmitted using the Unified Communication Channel, which is part of the Sercos transmission method.

“We are convinced that today`s great variety of automation technology requires a new conceptual approach to simplify the integration of machinery in manufacturing,” says Sercos International’s managing director, Peter Lutz. “A common network infrastructure enables machine-builders and users to reduce the cost and complexity of machine integration while retaining the ability to use their preferred product suppliers and automation devices.”

The blended infrastructure approach does not need any modifications to the existing Sercos III or EtherNet/IP specifications, because their communication mechanisms have already been integrated into the Sercos III transmission process. The only requirement is an implementation guide describing the planning and set-up of such multi-protocol networks.