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Trade associations sercos international e.V.

sercos – Ethernet bus for automation

sercos enables plug and play

From drive bus to the universal bus

June 27th, 2011 - Future has past: More than twenty years ago manufacturers of drive and control technology developed sercos in order to strengthen the benefits of distributed automation structures by an internationally standardized real time communication.


Even to this very day sercos, as world-wide recognized IEC standard, uses the same hard real time mechanisms working in several million nodes since then. In sercos’ third generation the proven mechanisms have merged with Ethernet physics opening further fields of application.


At the same time sercos has turned from a specific drive bus to a universal bus for distributed and centralised automation concepts.

sercos with extremely short cycle time

This advancement is based on the high reliability and performance of the fully developed Ethernet protocol. sercos combines a fast data transfer of 100 MBit per second with an extremely short cycle time of 31.25 microseconds.


Beside real-time data (RT) also more non-time-critical Non-Real-Time data (NRT) can be sent via the same network, both using the Ethernet protocol in a transparent manner.


Beyond that sercos offers numerous innovative features like e.g. the direct transverse traffic, the ring redundancy, the hot plugging of devices and real time transverse communication of several control systems.

Uniformity for electrical equipment, pneumatics, hydraulics

Unified profiles, using a standardised semantics for electric, hydraulic and pneumatic peripheral devices, offer an optimum combinability of devices from different manufacturers enabling an easy engineering in the sense of „plug and play“.

sercos integrates safety

Even the transmission of safety-relevant data is possible via the same network. The certified protocol, based on CIP Safety, supersedes additional hardware because system-critical information like the pushing of the emergency stop switch are guaranteed transmitted.


The energy-optimal operation of machines and systems with sercos is enabled by standardised and unified functions.

sercos needs just one commercial Ethernet cable

sercos is service and installation friendly

Within a sercos network a service technician can connect a Notebook with a sercos node by a commercial Ethernet cable using the network without proprietary hard and software.


Beyond that sercos networks are particularly easy to install and to operate because of their uniformity.

Foto of Peter Lutz
Peter Lutz

One sercos instead of many variations

sercos combines all crucial aspects to one standard avoiding different technology variations for different applications. That is the reason why one cable is sufficient so that sercos covers easily and economically the different communication purposes in the machinery industry.


Who would like to develop economically and easily needs just one solution and one cable for all applications due to sercos without being forced to accept limitations in regard to flexibility, real time capability, performance and safety.


The author Peter Lutz is managing director at sercos international e.V. at Suessen, Germany.


Email  Peter Lutz or call on +49(0)7162-946865.

sercos international e.V., Küblerstrasse 1, 73079 Suessen, Germany.

More information about sercos on sercos international e.V.


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