SERCOS, FDT Organizations Collaborate

SERCOS III will become the first high-performance real-time Ethernet communication standard to support FDT technology.

The user organizations for the SERCOS III and FDT standards announced on Jan. 19 an agreement to create an annex to the FDT specification for SERCOS III. Thus, SERCOS III will be the first high-performance real-time Ethernet communication standard to support FDT technology, used by many manufacturers to connect fieldbus devices to a wide range of software environments, the two organization said.

FDT, or Field Device Tool, technology standardizes the communication interface between fieldbus devices and engineering tools. Extending the FDT specification to SERCOS III (for Serial Real-time Communication System) will allow users to configure SERCOS III devices via FDT’s DTM device drivers. DTMs, or Device Type Managers, offer special functionality for detailed device configuration and analysis via a graphical user interface. The DTM application opens a window for the start-up, parameterization and diagnosis of the fieldbus devices, thus reducing the complexity of the application and increasing transparency for users and service technicians.

The collaboration between the FDT Group and SERCOS promotes the trend toward open standards in factory automation from the field to machine control, the organizations said. Design engineers and developers are able to combine products from different manufacturers in their automation systems due to the clearly defined interfaces.

“The FDT Group’s collaboration with SERCOS offers users the greatest possible transparency and freedom of choice,” stresses Flavio Tolfo, Managing Director of the FDT Group, which is based in Belgium. “The combination of these two open standards, supported by many manufacturers, reduces start-up times and increases the security of investments.”

“The collaboration agreement extends the range of SERCOS III applications beyond drive communication,” according to Peter Lutz, Managing Director of SERCOS International e.V. “The FDT/DTM specification is another important step on the way to making SERCOS III a universal real-time network for all automation applications.”

SERCOS International


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