Sercos Goes Open Source

DN Staff

April 13, 2011

2 Min Read
Sercos Goes Open Source

Because very few companies standardize with one hardware or software supplier throughout their business, the ability toconnect hardware and software packages from different suppliers is essential.However, that didn't stop many hardware and software suppliers from trying toown their niche of the playing field. But the realities of marketplace demandhave been leading a shift toward more open and easily integrated products foryears now. It happened with enterprise software nearly a decade ago, and nowthe spirit of openness is starting to be felt more widely at the device and devicecommunication level.

At Hannover Fair 2011, Sercos Internationalannounced that it is making the Sercos/IP protocol driver library for the Sercosautomation bus available as open source software. The driver software isavailable for download in C# source code via There are no license feesor usage limitations associated with the Sercos open source code.

The protocol is designed to allow direct communication and data exchangebetween devices without requiring a Sercos master or the use of existing Sercoscommunication.

One of the primary uses of the Sercos protocol hasbeen for real-time control applications. Sercos International maintains that theopen source Sercos/IP protocol can still be used in cyclic real time operation.The association notes that, despite having the Sercos/IP telegrams transferredinto the Sercos NRT (Non Real-Time) channel in real-time applications, there isreportedly no negative influence on the real time behavior of the network.

The open source Sercos/IP also maintains that set-up, remote maintenance anddiagnosis of Sercos device capabilities can be carried out over an intranet orthe Internet.

In related open communication news, SercosInternational also announced at Hannover Fair that it is strengthening its cooperationwith ODVA by becoming an active partner organization within the new ODVAmachine initiative. A principal objective of this connection between the groupsis the expansion of CIP Safety, which is currently used as a bus-independentsafety protocol for DeviceNet, EtherNet/IP and Sercos.

"CIP Safety on Sercos is an excellent example of how technologies fromdifferent organizations can successfully complement each other -- to benefitmanufacturers as well as users," said Peter Lutz, managing director of Sercos International.

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