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Note: This product from Cannon-Automata was announced at the Sercos Press Briefing at Pack Expo 2012.

New Sercos III Installation Possibilities Thanks To Topology Extension

Ried, Germany, 26. October 2012: A key factor in the acceptance of a bus technology is the effort to install field devices and the flexibility of the supported bus topologies. The TopoExtension from CANNON-Automata opens up new possibilities to simplify cabling of Sercos III networks on large and modular machines.

Simplified topology for modular machines
Features like hot-plugging and redundancy are major advantages of Sercos compared to other real-time Ethernet protocols. Because of these features it is possible to connect or disconnect single devices or complete machine aggregates during operation without any loss of real-time data. The installation effort necessary to support this feature can be reduced significantly through the use of the TopoExtension. The device integrates the two cables necessary for ring topology into a single cable or vice versa. In this way it is possible to interconnect individual machine modules or electrical cabinets over a single cable, while maintaining the Sercos ring topology and its advantages. The branch from ring topology to a single cable can be enabled or disabled over a switch or a digital input. Via this digital input, the machine control can switch machine modules or functions into or out of the production process depending on the produced product or the operational state of the machine. As an additional benefit to the gain in flexibility, the energy consumption of the machine can easily be reduced in this manner.

Connection of field devices via a single cable
More and more often, field devices are mounted decentralized and as close as possible to the production process. Due to the installation situation and the compact dimensions involved, those devices often cannot be equipped with multiple connectors. Typical examples for such devices are encoders or I/O devices with IP67 protection class. Here the TopoExtension offers a simple solution that combines the requirements of the installation with the advantages of the Sercos ring topology. In a single cable it combines all communication lines necessary to keep the ring topology together with power supply lines. So the field device must only be equipped with a single connector for communication and power -- only one cable from the electrical cabinet to the field device is needed.

Currently, the TopoExtension is available in protection class IP20 for DIN rail mounting. It is equipped with two RJ45 connectors for integration in the Sercos ring topology and one RJ50 port to connect the cable routing of the communication lines and the 24VDC power supply lines. In addition, it has a digital input to enable or disable the forwarding of data telegrams. This input can be bridged manually via a switch. A housing variant with IP67 protection class is under development.

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Picture 1: TopoExtension in IP20 housing

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Picture 2: Several electrical cabinets with Sercos III ring topology connected over TopoExtensions and single cables

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Picture 3: Integration of a field device in a Sercos ring topology over TopoExtension and a single cable