Makers of packaging machines will soon have an easier time implementing real-time Ethernet control, especially when they use drives, controls and i/o from different vendors.
Here at the Pack Expo Show in Chicago, the SERCOS organization announced that it would develop Pack Profile for SERCOS III, its real-time, Ethernet-based motion control network. According to Peter Lutz, managing director of SERCOS International, the profile consists of those SERCOS III functions commonly used in packaging machine applications. “The key is multi-vendor interoperability of servo controls, drives and i/o on packaging machines,” says Lutz, who explains that products that conform to the profile will provide plug-and-play functionality regardless of vendor.
This new Pack Profile represents just the latest packaging-specific profile for SERCOS. Back in 1995, the organization worked with OMAC’s Packaging Machine Workgroup to create a similar profile for SERCOS II, the non-Ethernet forerunner of its third generation network. And machine builders have over the years made good use of that initial profile. “We have more than two million SERCOS I and II nodes installed to date,” says Lutz, “And packaging is the biggest segment.” That acceptance of SERCOS was in evidence at the show. To take one example, the show had about 90 different machines running on various Bosch Rexroth drives and controllers that communicate over various SERCOS networks.
With the new Pack Profile, packaging machine makers will be able to take better advantage of functionality associated with SERCOS III’s implementation of industrial Ethernet. These include high speed data transfer of 100 MBits per second and cabling reduction. SERCOS III network topology also offers inherent redundancy and hot swapping of devices on the network.