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Festo and Dürr Adopt SERCOS III

April 21, 2008 -- The group of companies actively supporting the SERCOS III real-time Ethernet solution has grown, with Festo AG, one of the largest German automation specialists, adding the international communication standard to its portfolio. Festo manufactures pneumatic and electrical components and systems. As Festo's first SERCOS customer, Dürr AG will be integrating Festo solutions into the Dürr EcoRPC robot guidance system. Dürr is a leading machine and plant-manufacturing group with around 90% of its business in the automobile industry worldwide. Dürr also supplies the aviation, mechanical engineering, and chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries.

Both companies are new members of SERCOS International (SI) and bring with them their know-how from the automation industry, joining manufacturers, users, research institutes and associations that are working together on the ongoing development of the SERCOS interface. This ensures that the communications bus maintains the state of the art in technology to meet the requirements of mechanical and automation engineering. 

"We are currently sensing a strong change in the orientation of machine and plant manufacture. The desire for faster, higher-performing and more efficient production processes is the inspiration behind this," says Uwe Gräff, Manager Business Unit Netware Interface Control of Festo AG. "SERCOS III, as an industry-suitable, fast and deterministic data backbone, offers an optimal integration platform. In addition to high performance, the reasons for Festo's decision also included the manufacturer neutrality and future-proofing of the bus system."

For Dürr, the main focus is upon the controlling of all components in an application with SERCOS III, without having to incur the additional expense of a separate safety bus. "In all product areas, it is about the highest availability and reliability of the applications, especially in the operation of painting robots," emphasises Ronald Feifel of Dürr Systems GmbH. "That's why Dürr has placed emphasis on having a fast, trouble-free and deterministic field bus as the process bus for its second generation of robots."

The addition of two companies with world reputations in the production field shows that SERCOS III has established itself as a communication standard in general automation. The third SERCOS generation combines the open Ethernet protocol and fast data transfer with progressive safety technologies and robust design for the highest reliability in both synchronous and asynchronous communication. Additional advantages of SERCOS III include efficient networks with low cabling costs and targeted cross communication between control units.

"Industrial Ethernet is changing from a futuristic technology into the accepted standard in many current projects," says Peter Lutz, Managing Director of SERCOS International. "With the interest in uniform networks within companies, interest is also increasing in SERCOS III. The constant growth of SERCOS International is proof of the high priority that manufacturers and their customers attach to this modern communication standard."