Sercos publishes OPC UA Companion Specification

  • December 01, 2014
  • News

December 1, 2014 - Sercos International developed an OPC Unified Architecture (UA) Companion Specification for Sercos. This specification describes the mapping of the Sercos information model to OPC UA so that functions and data of Sercos devices are made available and accessible via OPC UA. This initiative aims at simplifying the communication between machine periphery and supervisory IT systems, supporting the requirements of Industry 4.0 regarding semantic interoperability. In September, Sercos International launched a “call for experts”, in order to invite members and specialists to contribute to this OPC UA initiative. A draft of the Sercos OPC UA Companion Specification is already available and is currently being reviewed by a technical working group consisting of device manufacturers, technology providers and research institutes. The final specification for publication shall be available in April 2015. “In today’s automation systems Sercos devices 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 OPC UA Sercos information  model that brings together the well-defined device profiles of Sercos with the data exchange standard of OPC UA. Use cases cover a broad range from device parametrization and network configuration up to energy management and preventive maintenance”, states Peter Lutz, Managing Director of Sercos International.   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 implement this functionality in 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. About OPC UA OPC-Unfied Architecture (OPC UA) is a platform and vendor independent communication technology for a secure and reliable data exchange over the different levels of the automation pyramid. In addition, the information models of the OPC UA standard provide the foundation for a semantic interoperability. About Sercos International Sercos International is an association of users and manufacturers that is in charge of technical development, standardization, certification and marketing for the Sercos automation bus. Conformance tests guarantee that Sercos implementations are standard-compliant ensuring that devices from different manufacturers can be combined. Based in Germany, the organization presently has more than 90 member companies located around the world and has national liaison offices in North America and Asia. About Sercos The SErial Realtime COmmunication System, or Sercos, is one of the world’s leading digital interfaces for communication between controls, drives and decentralized peripheral devices. Sercos has been used in machine engineering for approximately 25 years and is implemented in over 4 million real-time nodes. With its open, manufacturer-independent Ethernet-based architecture, Sercos III is a universal bus for all automation solutions.

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