Food Engineering

Decreasing energy usage with SERCOS

June 7, 2010
For machine builders using SERCOS real-time communications, there are some methods that can be implemented to reduce energy consumption.


Graph shows process power and power consumption of a machine. Source: ISW.
The SERCOS vendor organizations announced the development of an energy conservation profile for the SERCOS III Real-time Ethernet Communications System specification for controls, drives and decentralized peripherals. SERCOS is an acronym for SErial Real-time COmmunications System, a digital motion control bus that interconnects motion controls, drives, I/Os, sensors and actuators for numerically controlled machines and systems.

The SERCOS Energy profile reduces energy consumption in three areas. First, the permanent load at motor/machine standstill is reduced; second, energy consumption depending on the process is dynamically adjusted, considering the target completion times/dates (partial load operation); and third, energy is saved during processing by switching off components that are not required at a particular time or point in the process (partial machine operation).

SERCOS Energy is an application layer profile that defines parameters for the reduction of energy consumption in a uniform and vendor-independent manner. The control reads out standard parameters of each SERCOS Energy component via the SERCOS III network, receiving status information and detailed consumption values. Depending on the situation (e.g., scheduled or unscheduled breaks or machine components not needed in the current production process), the control can switch connected components (drives, I/O, sensors) into energy-saving conditions-up to complete shut-down in a targeted manner-considerably reducing energy consumption. 

A working group consisting of several member companies of SERCOS International has worked out a concept and a first draft of the energy profile specification. The final released specification will be available in June 2010.

For additional information, contact Ronald Larsen, managing director, SERCOS North America, 800-573-7267. Visit SERCOS or download the whitepaper entitled, SERCOS Energy.