Industry 4.0 “Demonstrator”

Sercos International, the provider of the Sercos® automation bus, will display its Industry 4.0 demonstrator at the “Automatisierungstreff” in Böblingen, Germany (April 10-12).
This demonstrator shows how OPC UA and Sercos perfectly complement each other. In doing so, process and device data are made available not just locally via the real-time bus, but also via OPC UA for a whole range of different application scenarios in a uniform and cross-manufacturer manner. This makes data exchange between machine peripheries and superior IT systems easier, and also supports the semantic interoperability requirements of Industry 4.0.
The multi-protocol capability of Sercos III makes various implementation options possible. One option is that the OPC UA server functionality can be integrated into a machine control. In this case, the control acts as a gateway in which the mapping onto Sercos services and data is implemented. With Sercos III, it is also possible to integrate an OPC UA server directly into a Sercos field device (drive, I/O station or sensor). In this case, the OPC protocol is routed directly through to the relevant Sercos slave device. The gateway functionality of the control is thus reduced to the function of an Ethernet switch. Due to the Sercos transmission process (no tunneling!), the ability of an OPC client and an OPC UA server to communicate with each other is preserved even without continuous Sercos communication.
If the control wants to pass on the filtered or aggregated data of the connected field devices to superior OPC UA clients, an OPC client can also be integrated into the control that makes the data collected via Sercos available to other OPC UA clients in edited form via an OPC UA server.
No matter whether OPC UA is used with or without an underlying real-time communications system, such as Sercos or Ethernet TSN, the device and functional profiles defined by Sercos can be combined with OPC UA, and can therefore continue to be used. The specification of semantics is absolutely necessary to enable the combination of automation devices in plug & play terms. The mapping of the Sercos profiles onto OPC UA will be developed in the OPC UA Companion Specification, which describes the mapping of OPC UA onto Sercos and vice versa.