Drives and Controls Magazine
Sercos releases IO-Link mapping guide
Published:  10 June, 2013

Sercos international has published a guide that will help automation engineers to integrate sensors and actuators with an IO-Link interface into a sercos system. It has also released an updated specification for the sercos III real-time Ethernet-based bus.

The IO-Link guide provides standardised mapping of IO-Link devices to the sercos bus. IO-Link is a low-level, point-to-point communication interface technology for interconnecting binary and analogue sensors and actuators.

An IO-Link master can be realised either as part of a modular sercos slave I/O device, or as a stand-alone sercos III slave. The cyclic data of all inputs and outputs of IO-Link slaves are either transmitted completely within a cyclic IO container, or as separate parameters. The sercos parameter channel can be used to execute acyclic read/write access with regard to the addressed IO-Link slave devices.

At the recent Hanover Fair, sercos member Hilscher presented a development board with an integrated IO-Link master controller supporting eight IO-link channels and a sercos III slave interface. Intelligent sensors and actuators can thus be integrated with the sercos automation bus faster and more easily via IO-Link.

Sercos international has also released a specification update (V1.3.1) for the sercos III real-time Ethernet-based bus, which includes updates to the sercos communication protocol and to various sercos profiles (drive, I/O, encoder and energy). It also includes mechanisms for a blended infrastructure approach to transmit sercos, TCP/IP and EtherNet/IP frames over a single wire.

Sercos International working groups have started work on several new functional profiles to extend the scope of sercos III. These will include profiles for test and measurement, power sections, servodrives, and controller-to-controller communications. A condition monitoring profile for service and preventive maintenance of machines will also be specified, based on an imminent condition-monitoring standard from VDMA.