Not long ago there was much discussion about the passing of the fieldbus wars. Since competition is inherent in any free and open commercial field, the question for many was: What new war among competing technologies would arise to replace the fieldbus wars?
Turns out that the fieldbus wars never really ended. They just shifted theaters a bit to include Ethernet and wireless as the protocol organizations adapted to new communication technologies. Considering that most of the fieldbus players are still in the game, here are two recent updates from names you’ll surely recognize…
SERCOS III adds FDT
SERCOS vendor organizations have officially announced the availability of the FDT specification extension for the SERCOS III Real-time Ethernet Communications System. According to SERCOS vendors, this inclusion of FDT makes SERCOS III the first real-time Ethernet communication standard to support FDT technology to connect field devices to a range of engineering software environments.
Extending the FDT specification to SERCOS III allows users to configure SERCOS III devices via FDT’s DTM device drivers for detailed device configuration and analysis via a graphical user interface. The DTM application opens a window for the start-up, parameterization and diagnostics of field devices.
EtherCAT Claims to be Largest Fieldbus Organization
Less than a week after the conclusion of the SPS/IPC/Drives show in Nuremberg, Germany, the EtherCAT Technology Group announced that it has become the world’s largest fieldbus organization with more than 1500 member companies from 52 countries.
At the EtherCAT Technology Group booth at the SPS event, 64 co-exhibitors showed more than 260 different EtherCAT devices. One of the key demonstrations at the booth was a multivendor drive demo featuring 35 different axes of motion from 22 vendors operating synchronously on a single EtherCAT network.