Sercos Industrial Network Group Gains Festo as Associate Member

Dec. 10, 2013
The Sercos automation bus was the centerpiece of a multi-vendor demonstration of products on display at the recent SPS IPC Drives show.

Sercos International, association of users and manufacturers that is in charge of technical development, standardization, certification and marketing for the Sercos automation bus, announced that Festo Corp. of Hauppauge, N.Y. has joined Sercos N.A., the North American promotional alliance for the Sercos interface, as an associate member.

The SErial Realtime COmmunication System, or Sercos, is a digital interface for communication between controls, drives and decentralized peripheral devices that has been used in machine engineering for more than 20 years. SERCOS III is an Ethernet-based, high performance bus originally designed for complex motion control tasks. 

The Sercos industrial networking protocol is implemented in more than 4 million real-time nodes, says Ronald Larsen, managing director of Sercos North America. At the SPS IPC Drives show in Nuremberg, Germany, in November, Sercos International showed new products from more than 20 vendors and safety technology based on “CIP Safety on Sercos.” The organization also presented a roll-to-roll demonstration of Sercos in action called, “Plastic Electronics.”

The demo, from organization member Bosch Rexroth, illustrated how different processes within a machine could be precisely regulated, how web transport and processing units could be perfectly synchronized, and how an exact web tension could be maintained using Sercos technology. Sercos products in the demo were from Bosch Rexroth, Bihl+Wiedemann, Hilscher and Vision & Control.

Festo is a worldwide supplier of pneumatic and electrical automation technology. Frank Langro, director of marketing and product management for Festo, says that “by becoming a member, we at Festo will be able to bring the perspective of an automation supplier who has an integrated product line that includes controls, drives, and I/O devices, making this an ideal fit.”

Festo recently introduced the CTEU bus node, for adding fieldbus connectivity to pneumatic valve terminals, but this “cost-optimized product is designed for simpler automation tasks” and does not support Sercos, explains Sean O'Grady, product manager for Festo’s valve terminals and electronics. “The CPX, being our higher performance product, supports all of the following protocols, in addition to the pending SERCOS III device,” he says: Interbus, DeviceNet, Profibus DP, CANopen, CC-Link, EtherNet/IP, ProfiNet (Copper), ProfiNet (Fiber), EtherCat, Modbus TCP, and embedded control with Festo CoDeSys PLCs.

Based in Germany, Sercos International has more than 80 member companies around the world and liaison offices in North America and Asia. It recently released the 2013 Edition of its Sercos Product and Manufacturer's Guide, an 80-page document that describes hundreds of Sercos-compatible products and services.

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