Because very few companies standardize with one hardware or software supplier throughout their business, the ability to
connect hardware and software packages from different suppliers is essential.
However, that didn't stop many hardware and software suppliers from trying to
own their niche of the playing field. But the realities of marketplace demand
have been leading a shift toward more open and easily integrated products for
years now. It happened with enterprise software nearly a decade ago, and now
the spirit of openness is starting to be felt more widely at the device and device
At Hannover Fair 2011, Sercos International
announced that it is making the Sercos/IP protocol driver library for the Sercos
automation bus available as open source software. The driver software is
available for download in C# source code via http://sourceforge.net. There are no license fees
or usage limitations associated with the Sercos open source code.
The protocol is designed to allow direct communication and data exchange
between devices without requiring a Sercos master or the use of existing Sercos
One of the primary uses of the Sercos protocol has
been for real-time control applications. Sercos International maintains that the
open source Sercos/IP protocol can still be used in cyclic real time operation.
The association notes that, despite having the Sercos/IP telegrams transferred
into the Sercos NRT (Non Real-Time) channel in real-time applications, there is
reportedly no negative influence on the real time behavior of the network.
The open source Sercos/IP also maintains that set-up, remote maintenance and
diagnosis of Sercos device capabilities can be carried out over an intranet or
In related open communication news, Sercos
International also announced at Hannover Fair that it is strengthening its cooperation
with ODVA by becoming an active partner organization within the new ODVA
machine initiative. A principal objective of this connection between the groups
is the expansion of CIP Safety, which is currently used as a bus-independent
safety protocol for DeviceNet, EtherNet/IP and Sercos.
"CIP Safety on Sercos is an excellent example of how technologies from
different organizations can successfully complement each other -- to benefit
manufacturers as well as users," said Peter Lutz, managing director of Sercos International.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.