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.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.