One cable instead of three: Sercos-Master-Module SERCANS simplifies automation


With the new Sercos-Master-Module SERCANS from Rexroth, an Ethernet cable is enough for the entire real-time, non-real-time and safety communication. Engineers now have the possibility to combine any devices of different manufacturers with one another that support Sercos, EtherNet/IP or TCP/IP. This PC plug-in card simplifies the automation of individual machine modules as well as of entire machines.

More and more often, real-time coordinated movements increase the productivity of machines and systems. At the same time, the processes need the evaluation of numerous data from the peripherals. The integration of scale transmitters, camera systems and a large number of other sensors has required an additional communication cable so far. If safety control is still necessary then, machine manufacturers often have to install and commission a third bus line. With the latest firmware version, SERCANS reduces this effort to one single Ethernet cable for the entire communication.

The PC plug-in card is prepared for the dual master operation. This allows the mixed and direct operation of Ethernet/IP, TCP/IP- and Sercos devices without additional hardware. The Sercos communication provides sufficient bandwidth for the parallel information exchange of real-time and non-real-time data. Every SERCANS master module with PCI-/PCI Express interface connects up to 128 Sercos participants with one another. Per PC, the combination of up to four Sercos masters is possible. This increases the number of participants up to 512 with Sercos interface.

The direct cross-communication between the peripheral devices increases productivity and shortens cycle times, because it provides a very fast axis coupling and I/O communication. A new wizard simplifies the engineering of the cross-communication. The structured memory interface clearly manages cycle, system and diagnose data; configuration data for HMI and motion logic as well as standard Ethernet data. Even before a Sercos III communication has been initiated by the master, the network participants can already exchange data via TCP/IP, EtherNet/IP and the S/IP protocol specified by Sercos. In addition, Sercos supports the hot plugging of participants.

In addition, the Ethernet cable transfers safety signals via CIP Safety on Sercos. The protocol was defined by Sercos in cooperation with the ODVA and is certified according to IEC 61508 to SIL3. An additional wiring for a safety bus is eliminated, because these signals are transferred along with the real-time data of the Sercos network. For example, the safety control SafeLogic compact from Rexroth takes over the monitoring of more than 400 drives with their certified safety functions in the application of SERCANS via the Ethernet cable.

SERCANS simplifies the realization of mixed infrastructures in machine tools as well as in food and pharmaceutical production, the packaging industry or  assembly and handling technology.


Economical, precise, safe, and energy efficient: drive and control technology from Bosch Rexroth moves machines and systems of any size. The company bundles global application experience in the market segments of Mobile Applications, Machinery Applications and Engineering, Factory Automation, and Renewable Energies to develop innovative components as well as tailored system solutions and services. Bosch Rexroth offers its customers hydraulics, electric drives and controls, gear technology, and linear motion and assembly technology all from one source. With locations in over 80 countries, roughly 36,700 associates generated sales revenue of approximately 5.7 billion euros in 2013.
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The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In 2013, its roughly 281,000 associates generated sales of 46.1 billion euros. (NB: Due to a change in accounting policies, the 2013 figures can only be compared to a limited extent with the 2012 figures). Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Automotive Technology, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 50 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. In 2013, the Bosch Group invested some 4.5 billion euros in research and development and applied for some 5,000 patents. This is an average of 20 patents per day. The Bosch Group’s products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide that is “Invented for life.”

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