Sercos TSN Demonstrator to debut at SPS IPC Drives show

Nov 16, 2016

Sercos International, an association of users and manufacturers that is in charge of technical development, standardization, certification and marketing for the Sercos automation bus, will demonstrate the transmission of the Sercos III real-time protocol via Ethernet standard IEEE 802.1 at the 2016 SPS IPC Drives show.

The Sercos TSN Demonstrator was created by the Institute for Control Engineering of Machine Tools and Manufacturing Units (ISW, University of Stuttgart) with industry support. It shows a real-time and multiprotocol-capable network infrastructure based on TSN for automation technology.

"The Sercos TSN demonstrator provides practical proof that Sercos III devices can be integrated into a TSN network as they are and can communicate with one another via TSN,” said Peter Zahn, project manager for the Sercos TSN demonstrator at the University of Stuttgart's ISW.  “Neither functionality nor real-time characteristics are restricted. Furthermore, existing tools, such as the Sercos Monitor as a diagnostic and analysis tool, can continue to be fully used,"


The demonstrator involves a TSN-based Sercos III SoftMaster with a Soft CNC from Industrielle Steuerungstechnik GmbH (ISG), which communicates with Sercos III servo drives from Bosch Rexroth via Hirschmann Automation TSN switches. Through this TSN network infrastructure, video streams of a webcam are transmitted to a remote display in parallel with the servo communication, without impairing the characteristics and functionality of the Sercos real-time communication.

"The implementation of TSN into products requires a solid technical platform for time synchronization,” said Dr. Oliver Kleineberg, head of the advance development unit of Hirschmann Automation & Control. “We expect first results of our TSN development work in 2017. This short time frame and our optimism are based on the already high stability of TSN prototypes and the development successes: A focused and efficient development is already possible based on IEEE TSN standards. "

"The Sercos TSN demonstrator impressively demonstrates that Ethernet TSN enables the convergence of traditional real-time Ethernet solutions to a unified, standardized and consistent network infrastructure," said Peter Lutz, managing director of Sercos International. "Sercos technology benefits from TSN in several ways. On the one hand, standard Ethernet components with integrated real-time capability can be used and flexible network topologies can be realized. On the other hand, with Ethernet TSN, higher transmission bandwidths are also available."