At the recent SPS IPC Drives show, Sercos International, provider of the Sercos automation bus, offered presentations showing that Sercos is a secure investment for the future. Sercos International introduced the transmission of Sercos III real-time protocols via IEEE 802.1 TSN (Time-Sensitive Networks) in a Sercos TSN demonstrator. This demonstrator was created by the Institute for Control Engineering of Machine Tools and Manufacturing Units (ISW, University of Stuttgart) with the support of several industry partners. It shows a real-time, multiprotocol-capable network infrastructure based on TSN for automation technology.
Another highlight was the Sercos SoftMaster demo, which offers high speed and hard real-time using a standard Ethernet Controller, instead of dedicated hardware. ISG Industrielle Steuerungstechnik showed a PC-based pick and place robotics application using the Sercos SoftMaster based on a Tenasys "Intime for Windows" real-time operating systems platform. Motion programming is done via a PLCopen module using the Multiprog PLC program environment.
Another attraction was Sercos slave prototyping using the EasySlave Kit for Arduino. Steinbeis Embedded Systems Technologies has developed a Sercos III product that uses an Arduino board as a rapid prototype platform for the application and a corresponding shield with a Sercos EasySlave FPGA, as well as other peripheral components. With these compact elements, the developer uses free and freely available software tools to create a prototype Sercos application, from which corresponding Sercos III devices are then derived and implemented.
“Sercos over TSN was the main topic at our booth," said Peter Lutz, managing director at Sercos International. "Many questions showed the need for additional information and we are happy to have seen such an interest in our technology."