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Sercos Presents SoftMaster Demo At SPS IPC Drives In Nuremberg, Germany



Sercos will present a Sercos SoftMaster demo during the SPS IPC Drives Show in Nuremberg,November 24 to 26, in hall 2, stand 440.

This demo is based on a Sercos III SoftMaster core, which was developed in cooperation with Bosch Rexroth AG and is being made available as open-source software.

With the Sercos III SoftMaster, a Sercos III master FPGA or ASIC hardware component is not required. Instead, a standard Ethernet controller is used and the Sercos III hardware functions are emulated in host-based driver software. With this implementation approach, adequate real-time behavior is ensured for a large number of applications. If an Ethernet controller with several queues and telegram scheduling (such as Intel i210™) is used, synchronizations and the highest availabilities similar to a hardware-based master can be achieved.

Some renowned companies are already carrying out the first projects on the basis of the Sercos III SoftMaster in cooperation with Bosch Rexroth AG. Among others, a packaging machine manufacturer is so enthusiastic about this technology that the company is planning to convert its entire machine program to the technology in time for Interpack 2017. Unlike their previous solution with the Sercos hardware master, by implementing the Sercos SoftMaster the company can now use an industrial PC without special fieldbus hardware and without PCI slots to control the machine. Due to the use of the Sercos SoftMaster in combination with the powerful Intel I210, the CPU load was reduced significantly, while costs and space were also saved.

In the future, the Sercos SoftMaster will be made available under an open-source software license for general use in the software pool of Sercos International. The license model will be based on that of the Sercos master library CoSeMa (Common Sercos API; http://sourceforge.net/projects/cosema/), which is already available as open-source driver software (since April 2009) and can be used both for hard-master and SoftMaster implementations.

"With the Sercos III SoftMaster implementation as an open source, it becomes much, much easier for manufacturers to develop a Sercos III master and at the same time to participate in future improvements and expansions of the software," says Peter Lutz, Managing Director of Sercos International. "In this way, control systems can be designed more affordably and will be more simple and compact in the future. This is a very important criterion - and not just for the Asian market."
In addition to the Sercos SoftMaster demo, two additional demos as well as a large number of exhibits forming a cross section of the approximately 250 Sercos-capable products will be displayed at the joint booth of the Sercos user organization.

For more information, please subscribe to the Sercos International eNewsletter or visit their website.