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OPC UA Companion Standard for Sercos released

The OPC Foundation and Sercos International announce that the Sercos OPC UA Companion Specification Release is now available.

This specification describes the mapping of the Sercos® device model and the Sercos device profiles to OPC UA, so that functions and parameters of Sercos devices are made accessible via OPC UA in a vendor-independent manner. This initiative aims at simplifying the communication between machine periphery and supervisory IT systems and to support the requirements of Industrie4.0 regarding semantic interoperability. The OPC Foundation and Sercos International started their collaboration with the common aim to improve the machine integration and to simplify the communication between machine periphery and higher-level IT systems.

“Sercos provides a very rich robust device model and device profiles that made logical sense to plug into an OPC UA namespace. The Sercos OPC UA Companion Specification enables machine to machine interoperability, and machine integration with the cloud-based applications at a minimum. Sercos suppliers will now be able to take advantage of the rich service oriented architecture of OPC UA, truly facilitating the vision of the embedded world having information integration into the cloud. The OPC community will now be able to be easily extend their products to support the great networking technology of Sercos. Both organizations are working together to facilitate and help the suppliers bring certified products to the marketplace supporting this new companion specification”, says Thomas J. Burke, OPC Foundation President and Executive Director.

“In today’s manufacturing systems automation devices & systems from many different manufacturers have to be integrated and maintained, resulting in significant total cost of ownership (TCO) during the entire product life cycle. At the same time product planning and control require process and machine related information to facilitate the efficient use of the manufacturing resources. This challenge can be faced best with a standardized mapping which brings together the well-defined semantics of Sercos with the OPC UA Sercos information model. Use cases cover a broad range from device parametrization and network configuration up to energy management and preventive maintenance. Furthermore new business models can be easily implemented because users and suppliers can rely on a consistent and vendor-independent semantic”, states Peter Lutz, Managing Director of Sercos International.

Figure 1: Inclusion of OPC-UA in the Sercos system architecture

The mapping rules specified by Sercos can be used for different implementation approaches. On the one hand, the OPC UA server functionality can be implemented in a Sercos master device (e.g. CNC or PLC). On the other hand, it is possible to transfer this functionality to a Sercos slave device. In the latter case, the OPC UA accesses are executed in parallel to the Sercos real-time communication or even without any Sercos real-time communication. Thus, a consistent communication with OPC UA down to the field level is possible without abandoning the hard-real-time communication of the Sercos automation bus.

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